Amsterdam's New Tourist Tax Applies to Cruise Passengers

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Amsterdam has introduced a new tax that affects cruise passengers, drawing criticism from the cruise industry.

In a statement provided to Travel Agent, Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) said that its members were “disappointed” by the decision, which applies an €8 tourist tax per 24-hour period to all transit passengers older than three years, which includes cruise passengers. Other day tourists who arrive in Amsterdam by train, bus or car do not have to pay a day tourist tax or any port or other fees.

CLIA also noted that transit cruise passengers represent 1 percent of the total tourist traffic in Amsterdam, but they generate over €60 million in revenue from the city’s port. By comparison, the remaining 99 percent of tourist traffic is expected to contribute just under €80 million in 2019. “It is self-evident that the contribution of cruise passengers is extremely disproportionate.”

“We also reiterate that the planned implementation time for this tax of just two months is far too short,” CLIA said. “Tickets for cruises are typically sold one to two years in advance and some companies may not be in a position to absorb this additional cost, and as a consequence there is a real risk of call cancellations, which could result in a budget deficit of several million Euros for the City of Amsterdam as a result of reduced fees collected by the Port of Amsterdam. Call cancellations are the decision of individual cruise lines and CLIA cannot comment on these business decisions.”

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