Lo staff di studentsVille.it ha chiesto al Sindaco Matteo Renzi quale sia la destinazione dei fondi raccolti attraverso la “city tax”, (la tassa pagata dai turisti che soggiornano negli hotel e nei b&b della città).
Di seguito riportiamo domanda e risposta complete:
Dear Mayor Renzi,
Firstly, I wanted to echo previous writers in their support for all that you are doing for Florence. It’s so refreshing to feel an injection of enthusiasm and a positive sense of change in a city that has so much potential. Not an easy task, but I see your courage and conviction transmitted to the residents of Florence, which is a major achievement.
My question is about the tourist or hotel tax that was put into effect last year. I deal with incoming tourists for work, and as a result, with many Florence hotels. Recently, I am often asked to explain to my clients the extra hotel and B&B city tax, which seems like a rather strange charge for tourists. Interestingly, in some cases, the hotels also seem to have difficulty explaining exactly where these fiscal contributions are directed.
Given that the charge ranges from 1 to 5 euro per person per night (depending on the star rating of the hotel property) and Florence sold 12 million hotel rooms in 2011, the fund created by the tax is considerable. What percentage of the funds (if not 100 percent) generated by the tourist tax is reinvested in tourism and where is it directed? For example, does the revenue support information offices, water fountains, more accessible green areas with benches, waste disposal, more illumination at night and so forth? What are the priority projects for the coming year?
Joëlle Edwards, UK
Thank you for your words of support for all the work we are doing! As for your question: I can understand that it is not easy to accept a charge for tourists. However, and as you properly write, Florence welcomes more than 10 million visitors every year, which means huge sums must be allocated for managing and maintenance in our City.
The most-visited museums in Florence are owned and managed by the central government of Italy, which collects the money generated from ticket sales. The city government, on the other hand, does not have a comparable income to invest in the services required by so many visitors.
Besides being very expensive, it is also not fair that Florentines should have to cover for all these additional costs. This is why we now ask tourists to contribute a token amount tied to the quality of hotel they have selected; in this way, we aim to be sensitive to their spending capacities. The money the City collects will help to improve many ordinary services by paying for underground garbage bins and additional streetlamps.
Regarding your other questions, I can tell you that we have installed almost 15 drinking fountains with mineral and sparkling water in key places around the city; we have opened a new tourist information point in the gorgeous space of Bigallo in piazza Duomo; we have introduced the Firenze Card, with 50 museums participating and free transportation; and more is in the works!
(Articolo by dotFlorence.com and Studentsville.it Team)