In a statement, AMAL states that the proposal was made known to municipal deputies at the second and last meeting of the Intermunicipal Assembly of the year, which took place in Loulé, on Monday, and brought together 47 deputies from the various political forces represented in the 16 municipal assemblies from the Algarve.
The implementation of a tourist tax of two euros across all municipalities of the district of Faro is the objective of the proposal that AMAL is considering.
The same source recalled that the proposal had already been presented at a meeting of the Intermunicipal Council of AMAL, in November, and is currently being analysed by representatives of the main organisations in the tourism sector in the Algarve.
“The model to be implemented will be decided by a commission made up of representatives from AMAL, RTA (Algarve Tourism Region), ATA (Algarve Tourism Association), AIHSA (Association of Hotel and Similar Industries of the Algarve), and AHETA (Association of Hotels and Tourist Resorts in the Algarve)”, he clarified.
The proposal under analysis “provides for the implementation of the [tourist] tax in all municipalities in the region and for all typologies, as well as a positive discrimination in the low season”, when it is expected that half of the proposed value will be charged.
“In addition, it foresees that a part of the revenues will be applied in each municipality and the other part reverts to the creation of a regional fund for the promotion of tourism (air connections in low season) and for tourist entertainment (major international events)”.
Speaking to the Lusa agency, in October, the president of the Intermunicipal Community of the Algarve (AMAL), António Pina, defended the application, from 2023, of a municipal tourist tax “with a common value” to the entire region.
António Pina, who presides over the Olhão Chamber, highlighted at the time that the municipalities of the Algarve had already decided in 2019 “to proceed with the application of the tourist tax”, but recalled that the intention was “suspended because of the pandemic [of covid-19]”.
The mayor then argued that, after the critical pandemic period, it was “time to return to its application”, but stressed that the tourist tax would only be applied after “conversations with all partners” in the tourism sector.
“The decision does not belong to AMAL, it belongs to each of the municipalities. AMAL is only trying to agree on the criteria for its application, but if there are municipalities that decide not to apply the fee, they do not apply it”, said the official.
Currently, in the Algarve, the tourist tax is only applied in the municipalities of Faro and Vila Real de Santo António, the first municipality in the region to introduce the tax, in 2019.