Visitors to Porto to be slapped with ‘tourist tax’

The tax is the latest political response to voter concerns that tourists are treated more favorably than residents.

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Porto will implement a new tourist tax from March 2018, after the Porto Town Hall voted in favor of the initiative.

From March 1, all tourists over the age of 13 will be charged 2 euros (2.3 U.S. dollars) per overnight stay in the city, to a maximum of seven nights.

The motion was passed unanimously, although the Unified Democratic Coalition (CDU), an alliance of the Portuguese Communist Party and Greens, abstained.

The CDU approved of the measure in principal, but favored a 1 euro per night charge and an age limit set at 18.

The tax is the latest political response to voter concerns that tourists are treated more favorably than residents.

Portugal is experiencing a tourism boom at present, not least in its two main cities of Lisbon and Porto. Increased tourism is providing a boost to the economy, but forcing up rents and putting additional strain on municipal services.

The tourist tax is designed to redress the balance.

Lisbon has operated a 1 euro tourist tax since January 2016. The Lisbon Town Hall expects to raise 14.5 million euros from the tax in 2018.

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