Tourist tax to fund Eurovision in Lisbon next year

The nightmare question of how to fund the Eurovision Song Contest after Portugal’s spectacular win in Kiev last May has finally been settled. With Lisbon’s MEO arena the undisputed ‘best place’ for the event, the capital’s controversial tourist tax will be used to the full.

Lisbon mayor Fernando Medina explained to journalists that the “economic impact” on the capital “justifies the investment” but that there should be no fears that money will be squandered.

Sharing the announcement with RTP boss Gonçalo Reis, the latter stressed that next year’s Eurovision – taking place from May 8 – 12 – will be “the most economical in recent years, and one of the most creative”.

It won’t be “confined” to the east of Lisbon either, as a stage will be set up in Terreiro do Paço for “a variety of shows”, while a “Eurovision Village” will run for 10 days.

Final details are still being forged, adds Diário de Notícias, with no-one sure yet of how much Portugal’s economic Eurovision will cost.

Shortly after the Salvador Sobral won the title in Kiev, newspapers were suggesting a final price tag of “around €50 million”.

Lisbon’s tourist tax came into effect in 2015 and currently involves every tourist being charged €1 per overnight stay, with a maximum levy taken of €7 during any visit.