Tourist taxes boost French Riviera coffers

Airbnb paid the city of Nice €2.4 million in taxes last year, and almost €150 million to the entire country, as tourists returned in droves. Meanwhile, airlines are rushing to add flights to the US amid a boost in post-Covid travel.

The good times are back for the French hospitality industry if the latest reports from accommodation platform Airbnb are any indicators. The company has revealed it paid €148 million in tourist taxes to France in 2022, up 60% on the previous year.  

In France, tourist tax is paid by vacationers in addition to the price of accommodation given to the landlord, the hotelier or the owner, who then transfers it to the municipality. Its community-set level is between 1% to 5% of the nightly price, excluding tax, per person. 

Nice was the third biggest recipient of the tax benefit, receiving €2.4 million between November 2021 and October 2022. Only Paris, who beat all other municipalities by a country mile with €24.3 million, and Marseille who saw €2.8 million, got more.  

Other notable cities and towns in the region who got their piece of the pie were Cannes with €1.8 million, Antibes with €860,000, and Menton, which received €340,000. 

“These major cities thus benefit from the return of international travellers and major events, which again attract travellers to their territory,” said the platform, whose largest turnover in France is second in the world only to the United States.  

And it wasn’t just the big cities who collected. Nearly 30% of the tourist tax accumulated in France in 2022 was collected in rural municipalities with less than 3,500 inhabitants, roughly the same as in 2021. 

The airlines are also getting in on the game, with a number of new connections between France and the States rolling out this year. JetBlue, Norse Atlantic, French Bee and Air France as well as Delta, United and American are all are counting on the tourist trade to continue on this trend.   

On North Atlantic routes last summer, Air France reached a higher level of activity than summer 2019 in available seat-kilometres, a benchmark in the industry, with an 88% occupancy rate. Delta also reported a 12% higher profit margin than 2019, and United had 20% more passengers than that same year.   

This has all been in the midst of exploding fuel costs, which have pushed ticket prices up, though this clearly has not deterred travellers who are itching to get away, particularly to France. 


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