Japanese city Kyoto proposes lodging tax of $2 to $12 per night

Kyoto officials are proposing a tax that would be levied on all travellers staying in the city, it was announced on Sept 13, 2017. PHOTO: REUTERS

TOKYO - Travellers to the Japanese city of Kyoto would be required to pay a lodging tax of at least 200 yen (S$2.45) a night, if a proposal for the tax gets approved.

Under the plan for a lodging tax, all hotel guests, including those staying at Airbnb-type of home lodging, would have to pay 200 yen to 1,000 yen per night in tax, depending on the room rates.

Collection of the tax could start from October next year, municipal officials said on Wednesday (Sept 13).

Students who visit Kyoto on school excursions would not be required to pay the tax, Kyodo News reported.

The city assembly will meet during a session that starts on Sept 21 to discuss the proposal.

If the proposal gets the green light, it would be the first of its kind in Japan, as it covers all types of accommodation.

Currently, lodging taxes are collected in Tokyo and Osaka Prefecture, but they apply only to accommodation priced at 10,000 yen (S$122) and above per night, according to Kyodo News.

With 55 million visitors last year, Kyoto is one of the most popular destinations in Japan. Its popularity, however, has caused infrastructure-related problems, such as crowded public transport and traffic jams, as well as a lack of accommodation.

If the lodging tax is approved and implemented, an estimated 4.56 billion yen in revenue would be collected each year. The amount of money would be used to promote tourism in the city, said Kyodo News.

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