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Israel Mulling Tourist Tax

Israel Mulling Tourist Tax

Currently levied by 42 countries, tourist taxes are paid by non-citizens entering a country to help combat the negative effects of over-tourism and to invest in tourism-related government projects and initiatives

Adrian Filut | 11:34  21.03.2019
Israel’s mounting budget deficit is leading the country’s Ministry of Finance to consider a revenue stream already in practice in many countries worldwide—a tourist tax. The ministry is considering levying the tax alongside other budget-propping steps, several officials at the ministry told Calcalist on condition of anonymity. The Ministry of Finance is also considers doing away with a currently instated tourist VAT exemption, according to these people.

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4.1 million tourists entered the country in 2018, staying on average nine days, according to official data from Israel’s Ministry of Tourism.

Tourism, Tel Aviv. Photo: Bloomberg Tourism, Tel Aviv. Photo: Bloomberg Tourism, Tel Aviv. Photo: Bloomberg

Currently levied by 42 countries, tourist taxes are paid by non-citizens entering a country to help combat the negative effects of over-tourism and to invest in tourism-related government projects and initiatives.

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Different from a visa fee or a value-added tax, tourist taxes can be collected at different contact points. Japan has recently started charging departing tourists the Sayonara tax, which stands at 1,000 yen ($9.25). Tanzania charges an 18% VAT on tourist services since 2016. In Germany and Italy, different cities include tourist taxes of around 5 euros as part of accommodation fees. Other countries tax tourists’ flight tickets.
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