Kyoto eyes introducing lodging tax amid increasing tourist numbers

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The city of Kyoto aims to introduce a lodging tax in 2018 at the earliest to cope with issues stemming from a surge in the number of tourists, based on a recommendation Monday from an advisory panel.

“Based on the recommendation, we want to work out the system at an early date so we can make a proposal to the city assembly in September,” Kyoto Mayor Daisaku Kadokawa said after receiving a report from the panel of experts.

The panel recommended taxes be imposed on lodgers, except for students on school excursions, at all accommodations facilities in the city, including private houses and rooms for vacation rental. Heavier taxes should be imposed at accommodation facilities with higher fees, it said.

The number of lodgers hit a record 14.15 million in 2016 in Kyoto, an ancient Japanese capital and one of the most popular destinations in Japan for foreign tourists.

With the surge in the number of lodgers, Kyoto is facing swelling costs in tackling such issues as crowed hotels and buses as well as the improvement of public transportation systems.

The city asked the advisory panel last August to consider measures to secure financial resources to cope with issues related to the surge in the number of tourists.

Lodging taxes have already been introduced in the Tokyo metropolitan area and Osaka Prefecture.

In the recommendation report to the mayor, the committee called on the city to continue to study the probability of introducing a parking tax and vacation house tax, saying the current situation does not allow such taxes to be imposed immediately.

© KYODO

 

Source  :  Japan Today

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