New „Guest tax“ law is more than a face-lift

Hotel guests pay a so-called „guest tax“ in the Canton of Basel-Stadt. This tax is currently CHF 3.50 per night and serves to finance services, which mainly benefit the guests themselves. For example: funds are used to run the Information Centre of Basel Tourism or the Mobility Ticket, which was introduced in 1999, and provides free use of Basel’s public transportation system to hotel guests. The law for such a guest tax is truly antique. It is from the year 1942, from a time when city destinations and hotel booking systems were different.

Today, we have private platforms like Airbnb to rent rooms globally. With the new guest tax law, also guests of these new accommodation providers will pay a guest tax and at the same time be eligible for the services offered to traditional hotel guests. This measure levels the playing field for pricing across all accommodation providers. The Cantonal Government and the Parliament will review the new overhauled law, which will include further changes, by this summer. Goal of the new law is to support and to promote Basel as a top city destination.