Riga mulls charging tourist tax

The local authority of the Latvian capital city Riga is considering to introduce a tax on the nights spent by each tourist in the city’s hotels and guest houses, the city council’s financial and administrative affairs committee said.

According to the proposal, which the committee started discussing on Wednesday, all hotels and other tourist facilities would have to pay one euro per overnight stay of each tourist. The maximum rate charged on tourists staying for more than ten days would be 10 euros and no tax would be charged on up to 12-year-old kids.

Hospitality services providers will be required to submit monthly reports on the number of guests accommodated and the amount payable in tourist tax.

The city council believes the tourist tax will help develop tourism and increase the number of visitors in Riga.

Rough estimates suggest that the new tourist tax might bring around 3.5 million euros into Riga’s budget annually.

According to the data of the national statistics office, the time both foreign and local tourists spend in Riga’s hotels and guest houses tends to grow and has reached an estimated two nights. (one euro currently equals to 1.11 U.S. dollars)