Tourists spending the night in Bariloche will have to pay a little extra from now on, following a new tax applied by the city’s Ministry of Tourism on February 1st. Marcos Barberis, head of the department, said the minimal charges will generate an annual sum of around AR $40 million.
Barberis explained that everyone who stays overnight at one of the 28,000 enabled facilities will be subject to the so-called “ecotasa“, starting at AR $5 in campsites, bungalows and rented apartments to the AR $60 fee for 5-star hotels.
Vacationers staying for more than 3 days at a time will be exempt from paying the extra charge, however. Total or partial exceptions apply for kids under the age of 12, the disabled, the retired, and those taking part in sporting events.
Travelers pay the fee once they check out of their accommodation. Each month, moreover, the different establishments must submit an affidavit with the total number of guests and amount of money collected.
The project was backed by local mayor Gustavo Gennuso and approved by the City Council, but was rejected by most businessmen, who claim that the tax will decrease Bariloche’s competitiveness. Hotel owners refuse to include the fee in the billing, arguing that it would have a negative impact on both their federal and provincial taxes, as well as on the payers’ card charges.
According to rionegro.com, the town’s Tourism Ministry has already produced vouchers for the establishments to use. This way, each establishment becomes a sort of tax collector, but can’t force its visitors to pay without police force.
Bariloche isn’t the only holiday destination in Argentina with this extra fee for tourists. The same measure is already implemented in Iguazú and Salta.