Catalan towns are considering tourist taxes for day trippers

by admin
Catalan towns - beach view Sitges

Some Catalan towns, including popular Sitges, are toying with the idea of introducing a tourist tax for visitors who stay only one day. This idea was inspired by a similar tax that Venice recently introduced.

Such a tourist tax is seen as a possible solution to the pressure that day tourists place on local facilities.


The seaside resort of Sitges attracts 2.5 million visitors annually and has only 32,000 inhabitants. This is an imbalance, meaning that the burden of the tourist flow is mainly felt in the area of public services such as police and cleaning. Mayor Aurora Carbonell sees the tax as a necessary measure to cover the costs caused by mass tourism. She does indicate that she wants to investigate the idea thoroughly first, but sees such measures as essential for the sustainability of the community in the city she governs.

Cogesa Expats

Doubt in Palafrugell and other Catalan towns

Other places like Palafrugell experience similar problems to Sitges. Although the situation there is of course not as extreme as in Venice. Palafrugell Mayor Juli Fernández expresses concern about the application of the tax. However, he is also investigating alternative measures such as limiting access during peak hours in the summer months.

Legal obstacles

Despite the interest of local authorities, they are dependent on higher levels of government such as the Generalitat of Catalonia for the approval of new taxes. Currently, cities such as Sitges are exploring alternative methods of generating tourism income that are not directly dependent on overnight stays, such as taxes on other tourist services and attractions.

Promoting sustainable tourism

Cities such as Palafrugell emphasise the need to promote sustainable tourism that benefits the local community without reducing their quality of life or the accessibility of public amenities. The balance between wanting to welcome tourists, because it is good for the economy, and maintaining quality of life remains unstable.

You may also like