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Author Topic: New Tax on Tourists from Governor in Petersburg  (Read 3441 times)

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Mariria

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New Tax on Tourists from Governor in Petersburg
« on: February 05, 2010, 06:51:54 AM »
 The Governor of St. Petersburg Valentina Matvyenko is campaigning for the introduction of a new city tax that will be two-euro and can be paid by tourists visiting St. Petersburg.

The idea of imposing a tourist tax, which Matvyenko suggested,  should be obligatory, provoked mixed reactions among the hospitality industry players.

City Hall has not finalized the tax collection scheme, but suggested to be logical and include it in hotel bills.

“Two euros is not a vast sum of money; those who travel here would easily be able to afford it,” said Matvyenko. “By the end of the year, though, the city should be able to raise a substantial amount of money through the tax.”

According to official statistics, 4.8 million people visited the city in 2009, including 2.3 million foreign tourists.

Yelena Kalnitskaya, director of the Peterhof museum estate, welcomed the plan. “St. Petersburg is a very special city, very attractive to visitors, and is in a strong position to introduce a tourist tax,” she said. “I expect, however, that there might be difficulties in collecting the tax. Perhaps it would be wise to impose the tax on local tour operators who work with incoming tourists and make a lot of money.”

Kalnitskaya’s view is shared by Mikhail Piotrovsky, director of the State Hermitage Museum, who had earlier expressed the idea that local tour operators should make donations to restoration projects in the city.

Piotrovsky also suggested launching a lottery that would raise funds for the restoration of the city’s crumbling historic monuments.

Tatyana Demeneva, spokeswoman for the northwestern branch of the Russian Tourism Industry Union, said her organization was not against the tax in general, but said that members are concerned that the money raised would not be used rationally.

“Tourist taxes exist in many cities in the U.S. and Europe, so the idea is not unique,” she said. “The only thing is that in Russia, there is no guarantee that the money will not be misappropriated, as happens here all too often.”

Vladimir Gusev, director of the State Russian Museum, expressed doubts about the future of the governor’s initiative. He said he believed that the tax would work against the city, as it is likely to be viewed as yet another piece of bad news from Russia.

“Tourism is not really thriving in the city, which is infamous for its high prices,” Gusev said. “Infrastructure in the hospitality sphere leaves much to be desired: there is a shortage of mid-range hotels, not enough parking space and affordable places to eat, especially in the historic center.”

No city in Russia, however, is at liberty to impose a tourist tax with no approval from the federal authorities. Matvyenko has asked her staff to produce an official draft document on the subject for the State Duma, which would have to pass a special law that would allow a tourist tax to be introduced. Alexei Chichkanov, head of City Hall’s committee for investment and strategic projects, said the draft would be sent to the Russian parliament before the end of April.

story
« Last Edit: March 25, 2010, 11:15:46 PM by Sennaya »

laurentius

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Re: New Tax on Tourists from Governer in Petersburg
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2010, 11:48:03 PM »
This is bad idea. Its really just an indication of the deeply inefficient bureaucracy. First the tourist has to pay for a visa, then he has to pay the "registration fee" of 150 rub. at the hotel, now even more extra fees all going to different ministeries and clerks. Its not a good idea to make it even more difficult for tourists to visit spb. She should instead make it even more easy and cash in with the taxes the extra tourists bring with them. Making guests feel they are being ripped off is not good business.

Mariria

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Re: New Tax on Tourists from Governer in Petersburg
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2010, 12:29:40 AM »
Two euro tax is not too much.
The bad side of it is that this two euro tax idea person will be responsible for the hotel's and travel agencies prices go up.
Then more taxes then higher prices.

It's the rule of the World!

And all the Russian tourists will have to pay it too in their own country.

mariann

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Re: New Tax on Tourists from Governer in Petersburg
« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2010, 12:37:24 AM »
Oh, wow, Matvienko rules, what she is even thinking?
A person  from Siberia will have to pay 2 euro extra to visit Petersburg?
And a Moscow person too?
I, suddenly, got a lot of questions...

laurentius

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Re: New Tax on Tourists from Governer in Petersburg
« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2010, 11:39:07 PM »
The thing is that not all of us "westerners" are rich. For us every extra euro or dollar we have to pay without any additional value is waste and a big minus. If you need more money earn it honestly not in a Soviet way like this.

Mariann: Of couse the Russians wont have to pay anything! It will be just us evil ultra rich westerners ;)
« Last Edit: February 25, 2010, 11:41:19 PM by laurentius »

Sennaya

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Re: New Tax on Tourists in St. Petersburg
« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2010, 11:25:06 PM »
Hmmm. Take the 12th most expensive city to live  in the world and add a tax.  I can imagine a row of policemen at the airport, each ready to get his 2-euros from the tourists. Not good news.

 In the US there is often a hotel tax, a fee for each night spent in the hotel, whether local or foreign. It might work in Russia too.

 


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