Hotel professionals are protesting against the sharp increase in the tourist tax on hotel nights in Île-de-France to finance public transport, which they believe will penalize their competitiveness. "With a 200% increase in the tourist tax planned for 2024, Paris and the Île-de-France region are already winning the gold medal for taxation!" even before the opening of the Olympic Games, write the Union des métiers et des industries de l'hôtellerie (Umih) and the Groupement national des chains hôtelières (GNC). "If this announcement were to materialize in the 2024 finance bill, Paris would become by far the most heavily taxed capital in Europe ahead of Rome, Brussels, Berlin, Athens, Madrid and London," denounce the two organizations.
They refer to a clause in the agreement signed Tuesday between the presidency of Île-de-France Mobilités (IDFM), Valérie Pécresse, and the Minister Delegate for Transport, Clément Beaune, which provides for "the creation on January 1, 2024 of an additional tax to the tourist tax (...) collected in the Île-de-France region and allocated to Île-de-France Mobilités, with a ceiling rate of 200%", i.e. a possible - and probable - tripling.
The tourist tax in Paris currently varies from 0.25 euros for modest campsites to 5 euros for palaces, per night and per person. "Taken without consultation with representatives of the hotel and restaurant industry, this measure would penalize the competitiveness of the destination on business and leisure tourism in the first tourist region of France," they add.
A "tax bludgeon"
The president of the French hotel industry Véronique Siegel evokes a "fiscal bludgeon that will have a lasting impact on the competitiveness of our companies". "Other avenues of financing exist, for example by using vacant housing and offices," suggest Umih and GNC. "The new increase in the tourist tax frankly undermines the competitiveness of the Parisian and Ile-de-France hotel industry by making Paris one of the cities with the highest tourist tax in the world," adds the Groupement des hôtelleries et restaurations de France (GHR). "The increase in the payment of transport further increases the cost of labor while we already devote in hotels, cafes, restaurants more than 40% of turnover to the payroll," add its presidents at the national level and for the Île-de-France, Didier Chenet and Pascal Mousset.