Tourists visiting France may find their hotel bills going up dramatically if a proposed law to impose huge increases in hotel taxes is approved.
The tax on taking a hotel room is currently between one and 1.50 euros. The proposed law would see this charge rising to eight euros, with an extra two euros per person per night in the Paris area.
The increased charges would apply to the top-end hotels, from one to five euros for three-star establishments, and from 1.50 to eight euros for four and five-star hotels.
The bill’s authors say the measure would raise 140 million euros a year, with the cash earmarked for much-needed investment in public transport used by tourists, particularly in the Paris region.
The bill, in the form of an amendment to existing legislation, was approved by the National Assembly this week. It would need to be voted in by the Senate before going into law.
The hotel trade, already up in arms over the growth of online short-term rental sites such as Airbnb, is not amused.
“If this were approved it would signify a complete breakdown of relations between the government and business,” France’s UMIH hotel union said in a statement.
“This has been proposed without any consultation with the hotel industry and goes against everything the government has promised in terms of boosting competitiveness.”
“It’s totally irresponsible,” added UMIH president Roland Heguy.
The amendments were put forward by Socialist National Assembly member Olivier Faure in response to an urgent call from transport chiefs for tourists to contribute to the six-billion-euro cost of overhauling Paris’s public transport network.
“It makes sense,” said Jean-Paul Huchon, the head of the capital’s transport authority. “The 40 million tourists who visit Paris every year are big users of the public transport system, and their contribution will increase the competitiveness of Paris as a whole.”
Date created : 2014-06-27