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British tourists hit by Portugal holiday warning over another tax in popular hotspot

The Algarve is one of the regions in Portugal most beloved by British tourists, with more than one million UK nationals visiting it in 2022. 

Among the most attractive aspects of this destination are its unspoiled beaches and breathtaking coastal areas, charming towns and mouthwatering seafood – all coming at a relatively cheap price when compared to other European holiday hotspots.

However, from this spring people planning to visit cities in this stunning area should be mindful of the introduction of a new fee – the tourist tax.

The beautiful port city of Portimão is one of the latest municipalities in Algarve where the collection of the tourist tax has come into force.

This new fee started being collected last Thursday, and Portimão follows in the footsteps of other Algarve municipalities such as Villa Real de Santo Antonio, Faro and Olhão, which started charging a tourist tax a few years ago.

The fee is required from tourists staying the night in these municipalities, and its cost varies depending on the season.

The notice of approval of the tourist tax regulation in Portimão shows tourists staying in this city will be required to fork out £1.71 (€2) per night if their holiday falls between April 1 and October 31.

If they holiday in the area during the low season, between November 1 and March 31, the tourist tax will come at £0.85 (€1) per night. 

The funds raised through this tax are going to be used by local governments to support expenses and investments linked to tourism – including environmental sustainability, the promotion and preservation of historical heritage, beach cleaning and maintenance of public infrastructure. 

The tourist tax must be collected by enterprises hosting holidaymakers, and failing to do so may incur hefty administrative penalties. 

A growing number of holiday destinations, particularly those experiencing mass tourism, are considering collecting fees from holidaymakers.

And it’s not just in Europe, the local government in Hawaii, a state island placed under huge pressure by overtourism, is weighing-up whether to ask holidaymakers to fork out around £19.63 ($25) at the beginning of their stay.

As it happens in the Algarve, money collected from tourist taxes is normally spent by local authorities to protect the environment, placed under strain by the many visitors, and boost infrastructures.


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