Berlin to introduce tax on tourist hotel stays

BERLIN (AP) — Berlin’s city government has decided to put a 5 percent tax on tourist hotel stays from this summer, part of efforts to shore up the German capital’s finances.

The so-called “city tax” is to be charged on overnight stays in hotels and other accommodation such as youth hostels and camping sites starting July 1. Business-related stays are being exempted, however.

It wasn’t immediately clear how the authorities would differentiate one visitor from another.

Berlin has become a popular city break destination over recent years. Its importance has also risen as a result of the German government’s move from Bonn in 1999.

The city government said Tuesday it hopes to raise 25 million euros ($33 million) a year from the levy as it tries to bolster its finances.

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