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French Minister Criticizes Plan to Hike Hotel Taxes

Jun 30, 2014 7:00 am

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Most tourists would not recognize the tax increase, but they could choose another destination based on overall price of lodging, decreasing France’s competitiveness in the region.

— Samantha Shankman

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French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius has blasted plans to raise by more than five times hotel taxes paid by tourists, saying the move would be dangerous for tourism and France’s stumbling economy.

Lawmakers from Fabius’ Socialist Party initiated two increases in the tourist tax, passed last week in parliament’s lower chamber.

If confirmed by the Senate, they could force tourists to spend up to eight euros ($10.90) per night in hotel taxes, instead of 1.50 euros currently, with the price rising with the hotel category. Another increase adds two more euros for Paris region hotels to pay for transport improvements.

Fabius said in a statement Sunday the increases are “dangerous and totally contrary to the promotion of tourism, a priority for jobs.” He joins tourist professionals decrying the moves.

Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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