Tourism project : Review of policies and practices in tourism taxation


Tourism-related  taxes  are  those  applicable  specifically  to  tourists,  the  tourism  sector  or tourism destinations. They include air transport charge, security charge, departure tax, accommodation tax, entrance fee or eco-tourism tax. The increasing importance of tourism taxation requires tourism stakeholders to understand the specific properties of tourism-related taxes and their potential impacts, both positive and negative, on the travel and tourism economy.

In virtually all countries tourism budgets are under pressure and new resources are required to support tourism developments. Tourism taxation is one of the important tools for providing the necessary investment in infrastructures and services and for supporting tourism promotional activities.

Many of the theoretical, economical and empirical aspects related to tourism taxation remain unexplored. Countries need to be well informed to make choices that maximise equity, transparency and efficiency in tourism taxation.


The review will inventory the different types of charges/taxes/fees/duties and examine their “raison d’être”, their rate, and the way they are used. The intent is to provide, in an inventory-type approach, comparative knowledge on tourism taxation. The review will help to better understand the positive and negative economic impacts of charges/taxes/fees/duties on tourism prices and volumes through an evaluation at different levels: international, national, regional and local.

It will take into consideration key dimensions such as i) Efficiency: Taxation having a minimal effect on the demand for travel and that does not affect negatively the destination choice; ii) Competitiveness: Taxation contributing to improve tourism services and increase competitiveness; iii) Growth: Tax incentives and disincentives with the underlying goal of stimulating the growth of the sector; or iv) Sustainability: taxation contributing to sustainable development in the field of tourism.

The review will allow the sharing of good practice in the form of case studies that provide examples of tourism taxes that contribute to increasing productivity and destination attractiveness, without negatively affecting destination choice. The work could also associate leading tourism industry organisations and universities working on these issues.


Expected output result

  An analytical report providing factual information and an assessment of economic impacts of taxation in tourism, including good country practices, to be completed in 2013.

  External  engagement  and  collaboration  with  tourism  industry  representatives  and  public authorities on taxation principles in the field of tourism.


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Related Documents


About the OECD Tourism Committee (doc)

About the OECD Tourism Committee