Photo: Praia da Rocha (Inês Lopes/Open Media)

Portimão to start charging tourist tax in March 2024

Tourist tax expected to rack up “several millions” for Portimão

Portimão Municipal Council announced on Thursday that it will implement a tourist tax in the municipality starting in March 2024.

The approved proposal involves a variable tax throughout the year, charging €2 per night during the “high season” (from March 1 to September 30) and €1 during the “low season” (from October 1 to February 29).

In both cases, the tax will be charged for a maximum of seven nights, Portimão Mayor Isilda Gomes has told TSF radio.

“At the moment, we have everything approved,” the mayor said, adding that the council is simply waiting for the decision to be formally published in the state newspaper Diário da República. Gomes clarified that children up to 13 years old will not be charged.

The mayor expects to collect “several million” euros from this tax and assures that the generated revenue will be used for the development of tourism in the town.

“What we intend is, first, to promote Portimão as an attractive tourist destination and attract more and more other tourist markets to our municipality. Then, (to invest) in the improvement of what we have to offer to our tourists, that is, the improvement of green spaces, the improvement of roads, everything that implies having a quality tourist destination, and that is what we want,” Gomes said.

She added that the municipality also wants to be able to support “large-scale events” more effectively, such as the MotoGP, “which with the tourist tax we will be able to provide more substantial support to.”

Paulo Pinheiro, the boss of the Algarve International Circuit (AIA), has already celebrated the future launch of the tourist tax, telling TSF that “all support is crucial for the Algarve International Circuit to be able to maintain major events, namely the Moto GP.”

Meanwhile, Isilda Gomes believes that this is an “extremely fair” tax, especially because the town has to deal with “great pressure” from tourism in the summer.

“We have to be prepared; we have to have a municipality prepared to welcome 60,000-70,000 people in winter, but then also to respond in the summer to great pressure that can go up to four times more, and this affects all our services, our response capabilities, and we have to have that capacity throughout the year so that we do not run out in the summer,” said the mayor.

Gomes added: “This tourist tax is extremely fair, in that it will be entirely spent in the field of tourism, that’s what we want, and we will even create an advisory council to help us apply this tax so that people don’t think that the council will need that money for its normal functions.”

Source: TSF