Popular travel destinations hit vacationers with new fees and taxes

Make sure your travel budget is air tight to cover new fees in popular areas like Bali, Paris, and Amsterdam.
Paris Ahead Of the 2024 Summer Olympics
Paris Ahead Of the 2024 Summer Olympics / Mike Hewitt/GettyImages

It’s that time of the year when travel is at the forefront of everyone’s minds. For some, that could mean a quick trip to another state, while others break out the passport to head across the world. Those going across the world need to be cognizant though as some places aren’t willing to welcome them as much as they’d think. Several popular travel locations are cracking down on stricter regulations against vacationers.

What’s one way to hit travelers hard? Attack their pockets. Countries like Bali and Amsterdam have instituted new fees that will certainly cut into a traveler’s budget. For example, in Amsterdam, there’s a new hotel tax that will increase the rate of nightly stays. The same is true for Paris, another highly popular destination in Europe. Both in the United States and beyond, hotel taxes continue to rise, pushing travelers to find other ways to make accommodations during their travel.

Back in February, Bali started a visitor fee of 150,000 Indonesian rupiahs, which converts to about $9.40 in US currency. This fee is meant to preserve the cultural and natural assets of that island, which has become popular thanks to its low cost and beautiful areas. The fee can be paid online before you arrive or at the airport upon landing.

These fees are put in place to deter overcrowding. While these locations are beautiful, many are finding that an influx of travelers continues to cause issues from both a resource standpoint and causing issues for the locals in the area.

“All tourism is dependent on beautiful natural and cultural resources,” said Megan Epler Wood of the Sustainable Tourism Asset Management Program at Cornell University. “You have to protect those resources in order to be a viable tourism destination – and if you don’t, they degrade.”

While understandable, the locals do not completely welcome these new rules. In a lot of these areas, locals depend on the income generated from tourists to sustain their way of life. These new rules and fees by governments have the potential to scare some travelers away, pushing them to different destinations. Tourists may harm aspects of the local, but at the same time they are giving the economy a boost. These governments must find a suitable middle ground between the two.

Tourist fees are yet another reason to do as much research as possible before setting out. Popular tourist sites are enacting fees and new taxes to protect the land they call home. These costs may keep people from being able to afford the trip, which then harms the locals in the area. This is a tough situation to work through as the travel industry continues to bring in record numbers.