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Kõlvart suggests tourism tax for Tallinn

One of three viewing platforms in Toompea in Tallin's Old Town.
One of three viewing platforms in Toompea in Tallin's Old Town. Source: (Siim Lõvi/ERR)

Tallinn City Council chairman Mihhail Kõlvart (Center) told Pealinn, the paper published by the city government, that Estonia's capital city should introduce a tourism tax.

"In this we should be working closely with the state," Kõlvart told the paper. "A tourism tax would be very logical. Tourists are visiting our city but we are getting no additional income from them to develop the city. They use the city's infrastructure and amenities, but they make no real contribution for us to be able to preserve this environment."

Kuressaare and Pärnu, two popular tourist destinations in Estonia, have previously expressed similar interest in imposing a tourism tax.

Kuressaare mayor Madis Kallas told the regional paper Saarte Hääl in August that a tourism tax would bring in an additional €1.5 million per year to the island's treasury.

According to Kallas, there has been talk of a €1.5 tourism tax per person for the Western Estonian island of Saaremaa, and this money could be used to improve marketing and the organization of large events on the island.

Pärnu city government, meanwhile, said in May that the operating expenses of Pärnu Airport could be covered with a €1 tax per night spent by tourists in the city.

Minister of Entrepreneurship and Information Technology Urve Palo (SDE) has said that the implementation of a tourism tax should be left to municipalities to decide.

"It could be done in cooperation with business-owners and local authorities, because if such a tax is collected, it should be clear to business-owners what exactly will be done with that tax in order to promote tourism in the region," Palo said, adding that there are currently no plans to implement a nationwide tourism tax.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

Source: BNS

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