Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Where is the Logic?

No country would disagree that they are not actively romancing the tourist trade luring tourist wallets to their region. Yet, conversely, it seems many of these places try to squeeze every cent (Euro or US) from you in the process. 

Germany started a controversial air emission tax on all outbound flights in Germany. This came into play at the beginning of 2011. Add to the mix, the additional distance based fees of up to €45 per flight in conjunction with all of the airline fees that suddenly appear after you hit the BUY THIS button. Talk about sticker shock. How many times have we been so emotionally invested by that point that we just say 'to hell with it' and pay the exorbitant fees anyway?

It doesn't stop with the airlines in Germany either. Cologne was the first city in Germany to introduce a bed tax. Gaining popularity, over fifty other German cities are considering the same option.  

Business travelers to destinations such as Barcelona or Rome are finding extra fees have been added to their hotels passed off as an accommodation charge, but it can reach up to €3 per night. If a taxi was not a luxury before, it may well be now with an increase in taxi fares of up to €10 per a ride. They will take you for a ride alright, both literally and metaphorically. Neither of these charges are relegated solely to the business traveler, so fatten your wallet before arriving. And the US is not off the hook either. In September 2010 the US introduced an entry fee $14 per person to enter the country.

While covering tourism news, this report just came out. Hotel revenue in Hungary was the lowest in Europe during January. Of all of Hungary, Budapest came in at the bottom of the list. Once they tally the figures, it will probably be the same for February. You can tell that the tourism arena is hurting when you can go to Heroes Square multiple times a week at differing times and find it sparsely populated other than a few skateboarders. 

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