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Riga postpones introduction of tourist tax to 2022

In light of the damage caused to the tourism sector by the pandemic, local authorities have reevaluated the need for the change

  • June 14, 2020 10:00
  • Author Anton Stoyanov
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With the coronavirus pandemic causing significant economic damage not only to individuals but to entire sectors of the economy, the interim local authorities in the Latvian capital of Riga have decided that they will postpone the introduction of the tourist tax that was previously scheduled to come into force in 2021. Instead, it will be introduced at the start of 2022, once economic woes have subsided.

The thought in the back of the minds of local officials is clear – the introduction of a tax would place an additional burden on citizens that might make them less inclined to travel, thereby hindering the recovery of the country’s tourism sector. By removing this additional obstacle, authorities hope that its recovery will continue without interruption.

Goals of the tourism tax

One of the main problems that the introduction of a tourism tax aims to solve is the overburdening of the urban area by an increased influx of people. Such influxes can prove to be damaging to the environment and contribute significantly to the deterioration of local infrastructure thereby negatively impacting the quality of life of those living in the most-visited parts of the city.  

Tourism taxes have become an increasingly popular measure among local administration in many cities that see a large number of tourists arriving throughout the summer or winter months. For example, cities across Portugal that have introduced such additional levies are successfully managing to offset some of the impact that tourists have on the environment and on the local infrastructure by using the collected funds for the regeneration of their respective urban areas.

Unfortunately, in the post-corona world, such measures have to be delayed in order to allow for businesses and individuals to spread their wings and freely choose their destinations – without taking into account yet another hindrance.



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