Tourism tax idea evaluated in Saaremaa
As there have been suggestions to introduce 1.50-euro tourism tax per person for the largest Estonian island Saaremaa, the Mayor of its largest town Kuressaare, Madis Kallas, has estimated that a tourism tax would bring additional 1.5 million euros a year in the island’s budget.
Estonian public broadcaster ERR reports citing Saarte Hääl regional newspaper on Sunday, August 5, that Kallas estimated in an interview: «This could generate approximately 1.5 million euros, which could be used to increase marketing and and organize large events.»
While the current ticket price for a passenger vehicle on the Saaremaa ferry route is just over 8 euros, Kuressaare Mayor elaborated: «The most reasonable thing to do would be to collect the tax as somehow linked with the ferries, should it be implemented; that would make it easier for people».
Estonian Minister of Entrepreneurship and Information Technology Urve Palo commented that said that there was currently no plan to implement a nationwide tourism tax, but implementing a regional tourism tax is for municipalities to decide: «It could be done in cooperation with entrepreneurs and local authorities, as, if such a tax is collected, it should be clear for entrepreneurs what will be done in the region in question with this tax [revenue] in order to promote tourism».