What’s this I hear about Tourist Tax?


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Croatia recently began to enforce a little known “tourist tax,” so it seems it’s time to un-turn the blind eye this Logue has adopted and start letting travelers know that they are under a legal obligation to register and pay a euro per day for the duration of their stay.

Croatia still loves its tourists. The economy depends largely on the dollars that drive down from Europe and fly in from all over the world each summer. But there is a business side to this love-affair and in an effort to protect travelers from foul play, excessive rates and subpar accommodations, the tourism bureau requires hotels and other establishments to report that they are housing someone each night.

The thinking goes that requiring hotels, hostels and private renters to register their guests will keep the tourist business from slipping to the opportunistic renters: non-professionals with an extra bunk bed somewhere in their house that they would be happy to let you sleep in for some extra money. It may seem like Croatia is trying to squeeze every last dollar from you on your trip, but remember it’s for your own good. Wink.

In most cases, the tourist tax is included in the price of your stay and the management will take care of the registration. Hotels, hostels and private rooms registered through the tourist bureau will almost always take care of the tourist tax. Unfortunately, if you are staying with friends or in a private room, the onus is on you to report to the tourist bureau or police station to register and pay the tax.

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To register, you’ll need your passport as well as the amount of money you owe. Croatia generally charges adults the equivalent of one Euro per day and half that for their teenage companions. Children under 12 are free.

Tourist tax is calculated based on the traveler’s destination and the season of their visit. Cities are registered with a code of A, B, C, or D and each letter corresponds to the amount of the tax, from 7 kuna to 4 kuna per adult per day or night. Like most everything in Croatia, the price of tourist tax follows the sun, increasing during the sunny spring and summer, decreasing during the fall and winter.

Travelers have largely ignored the tourist tax for a long time, but during peak seasons the tax is enforced in the larger tourist hot spots so that word gets around that you’ve got to pay your Euro per day. Unfortunately this usually means searching someone out who hasn’t paid and making their night uncomfortable.

Some travelers also report getting run around the city when they show up at the tourism bureau or police station to register and pay. If this happens to you, the smart thing to do is take paperwork from the station or office that proves you were there and made a reasonable attempt to pay the tax. Then go out and enjoy your trip. The chances that you’ll be hassled or fined are slim and it’s not worth spending a day en route between the different city offices.