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One of the world’s most expensive countries, Norway could soon become even more costly for British tourists. The country is planning to bring in a tax in the form of an additional fee on overnight stays or tourism activities.
The exact details of the potential tax haven’t been announced yet but it is expected to be designed to raise money for local communities.
Norway receives around 10 million tourists a year, far less than tourist hotspots such as Spain or France.
But many of Norway’s tourists visit small remote areas or villages where residents feel a big impact from the industry.
Lars Vangen, state secretary for Norway’s finance minister, said: “The idea is that the local communities should be left with more.”
Vangen said the Government would be investigating a tourist tax and seeing how one could be implemented.
Precise plans will likely be announced as part of the proposed budget for 2024 and announced at the end of 2023.
Norway’s Lofoten islands are one of its top tourist destinations but just 25,000 people live there.
Local residents have complained of having to clean up rubbish left by tourists on nature trails.
Tromso, in northern Norway, a popular destination for dog sledding and Northern Lights tours, is also considering a tax.
A proposal from the city’s culture committee said: “The goal is for such a tax to finance better arrangements for tourism in Tromso, not least to prevent wear and tear on nature, better waste management and toilet facilities.”
Norway has also seen protests about the number of cruise ships visiting the fjords during peak season.
Earlier this year, tourists shared pictures of posters in several Norwegian towns addressing them as “parasites”.
The cruise industry can be particularly controversial as many residents feel that passengers don’t spend much in the towns they visit.
There are also concerns about pollution from the ships and the behaviour of visitors who have been accused of trespassing on private property.
Norway isn’t the only country to be considering introducing a tourist tax which is already in place in many areas of Europe.
Barcelona has announced it plans to increase taxes for cruise passengers visiting the Spanish city.
Cruise tourists already pay a tax to visit Barcelona while overnight tourists also pay a fee depending on accommodation.
Benidorm has said it will never introduce a tax, after the regional Government announced plans for one.
Wales is considering introducing a tax to help hotspot tourist areas cover the extra cost on essential services.
Venice is going a step further and bringing in a tax on daytrippers which is set to be introduced in 2023.
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