Bad news for tourists: in Turkey, they finally and irrevocably decided to tax tourists from the New Year – there will be no more postponements of the start of this method of replenishing the budget (before that, the tourism business and the public managed to postpone it already 2 times). Details on the introduction of a tax on tourists in Turkey, which will begin to be levied from January 2023, were presented by the Turkish media, citing a general communiqué that was published in the Official Gazette of the Erdogan government. This is bad news for tourists, as the tourism sector expected the tax to be deferred for another year. However, Russian experts believe that this will not affect the demand from tourists from Russia.
The “General Communiqué on the Imposition of the Housing Tax” published in the Official Gazette contains the following information on the imposition of the tax. Firstly, all establishments providing accommodation services, regardless of whether they have a certificate of tourism activity and/or a certificate of opening/operating a business, will be taxed. The amount payable as accommodation tax is 2% of the total amount paid for the overnight stay. A similar tax will be charged to the tourist for all goods and services provided during the overnight stay. For example, for a guest staying two nights at a hotel that costs €75 per night, the property will pay a €3 accommodation tax to the state.
The following accommodation facilities are expected to pay the tax: hotels and villas, boutique hotels, private accommodation facilities, motels, hostels, apart-hotels, wellness complexes organized within hotels and thermal complexes with accommodation facilities, farmhouses, village houses, chalets for rent, campsites, recreational accommodation facilities, and any other accommodation facilities. All of them will be required to pay tax, regardless of whether they have a certificate for activities in the field of tourism and/or a certificate for opening/running a business.
Moreover, if the tourist who paid for the night, having paid his money, “leaves the hotel in the evening of the same day”, a tax on accommodation will be paid for him. True, if the guest has planned a stay for 7 nights, but leaves after 3 days, for example, the accommodation tax will be paid only in the amount of the number of nights. Such a rarity for hotels, but in the same campsites it is found.
The tax also includes all services at the property sold with the overnight stay – food, activities, entertainment services, sports and spa “which are sold as a concept along with the night service.” The only exceptions to this tax are events without an overnight stay, such as a wedding celebration or a convention that does not plan to accommodate participants overnight. On the other hand, the following is noted: “Services provided under the concept in all-inclusive hotels are taxed, entertainment services paid separately and sold to guests are not taxed on accommodation unless they are sold together with the overnight service. Spa, massage and food and drink services, other than accommodation offered as an additional service in hotels, will be exempt from tax.
Note also that the taxpayer, according to the document, is the one who provides the services for accommodation. But in the end, the tourist will still have to pay. True, Russian experts believe that this will not affect the demand of our tourists. “Turkey has been and remains a priority destination for Russian tourists… The introduction of a 2% tax on accommodation will not change the situation, since this is an insignificant figure, much higher than fluctuations in the cost of air tickets,” Dmitry, Vice President of the Russian Union of Tourism Industry, commented in particular Gorin. He also added that most likely this amount will be included in the total price of the tour package – as a result, tourists simply “will not notice it.”
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