Vilnius Tourist Tax to Open Up New Path Towards Tourism Development


On December 7th, a majority vote by the Vilnius City Council approved the introduction of a new tourist tax. The one-euro tax is slated to come into effect on 1 July 2018 and is estimated to increase the capital’s annual budget by up to €2.28 million in 2019. The funds collected through the tourist tax will serve to increase Vilnius’ international competitiveness and improve its tourism infrastructure to attract more people to the city

Through the approval process the Council set forth specific directions for the use of the tax: to raise the visibility of the city, improve its international accessibility (e.g. flight development programmes), promote conference and business tourism, and increase the number of tourist attractions in Vilnius.

According to Inga Romanovskienė, Head of the Vilnius Tourism and Business Development Agency Go Vilnius, there is a growing need for active and consistent international marketing in the area of city tourism. This is even more evident when considering the growing interest in Vilnius and the continuous increase in the number of business and leisure tourists to the city. capital.

Reflecting on the new initiative Ms Romanovskienė remarks, “The tourist tax will allow the city to implement significant projects to enhance the competitiveness of the city in the region, increasing its attractiveness and improving tourism infrastructure while contributing to the establishment of new direct flights to Vilnius.”

Similar approaches have already been taken in many cities across Europe as well as five other Lithuanian cities. Tourist taxes are collected in Amsterdam, Berlin, Rome, and many other cities across 17 other European countries. In some cities this tax reaches up to €7. In Lithuania, hotel accommodation taxes are currently collected in Druskininkai (€1), Palanga (€1), Birštonas (€1), Trakai (€1), and Kaunas (€0.5, and €1 from 2019). A similar tax is currently being considered by Tallinn, too.

The Municipality Council agreed that the tax would be calculated from the number of overnight stays in the city. The amount of the charge per person per one-night stay proposed from July 2018 is €1. In the first year, tourist groups booking at least 10 rooms will be exempt from the tax. Exemptions will also be applied to medical patients, children under the age of 18, students, people with disabilities, and those who intend to stay in Vilnius for a month or longer.

During a six-month period this year, almost 500,000 tourists stayed in accommodation establishments in Vilnius, where they spent almost 930,000 nights.

Based on the number of tourists in Vilnius between 2013 and 2016 and the upward trends in nights spent in Vilnius, it is likely that 1.27 million tourists and 2.28 million overnight stays can be expected in 2019. This means that the introduction of the one-euro per night tourist tax will bring in €2.28 million of tax revenue in 2019. 

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