The new finance act 5/2017 from 28 March means the allocation of funds raised by the tourist tax (IEET) will rise from 33% to 50%. The rise equates to an extra 4 million euros a year, which will mainly be used to compensate and improve zones with the highest volumes of tourists, improving everyday life for residents. The budget allocation for the promotion of Barcelona via Turisme de Barcelona is also now limited to a maximum of 4.5 million euros.
The funds will be used to combat the effects of the volume of visitors and priority will be given to decentralising and strengthening cultural attractions, consolidating Barcelona as a sustainable destination as set out in the Strategic Tourism Plan 2020.
The Councillor for Enterprise and Tourism, Agustí Colom, declared: “This tax has to help us compensate and improve spaces with the heaviest tourist congestion and help Barcelona residents see how their everyday environment also improves”. Examples of this investment include: extra services on bus routes to and from the beaches, the renovation of the lower side of Pl. Lesseps (between C/ Gran de Gràcia and C/ Torrent de l’Olla), and extra signposting for tourists on foot in Trinitat Vella.
The amount of money from the tourist tax which is allocated for Turisme de Barcelona to promote the city as a tourist destination has also been capped, a limit of 4.5 million euros being set. The agreement signed also establishes that the promotion of the city must back Barcelona as a sustainable destination.