Bonjour Bigger Bills: Paris Boosts Tourist Tax While British Airways Jets Back to London Stansted
Bonjour Bigger Bills: Paris Boosts Tourist Tax While British Airways Jets Back to London Stansted - Higher Hotel Bills for Visitors to the City of Light
Paris has long been known as one of the most romantic and beautiful cities in the world, drawing millions of visitors eager to stroll its cobblestone streets and take in iconic sights like the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame Cathedral. However, the City of Light may soon be getting dimmer for travelers' wallets.
Earlier this year, the Paris City Council approved a measure to raise the tax on hotel rooms from €1 to €3 per person per night. This 200% increase is set to take effect in 2023 and aims to generate nearly €42 million in additional annual revenue from tourists. However, the move has sparked concerns that it could deter visitors who are already grappling with high costs of accommodation in the French capital.
According to data from OTA giant Booking.com, room rates in Parisian hotels average around €167 per night. When combined with a €3 per person tax, the nightly total creeps closer to €200 for two people sharing a room. Compared to more budget-friendly destinations in Europe like Berlin, Lisbon or Prague, Paris is already one of the pricier places for travelers to bed down for the night.
The new tax has the hospitality industry worried that tourists may choose more affordable destinations over Paris if hotels pass the extra charge onto guests. Especially after two years of depressed tourism activity during the pandemic, hotel owners are wary of any policy that could hamper the city's tourism recovery.
Some visitors have taken to travel forums to vent about the tax hike, with one commenter on TripAdvisor saying it "just adds insult to injury" considering Paris hotels are already expensive. Others argue the levy unfairly targets tourists rather than spreading the cost across all city residents and businesses benefiting from the tourism industry.
What else is in this post?
- Bonjour Bigger Bills: Paris Boosts Tourist Tax While British Airways Jets Back to London Stansted - Higher Hotel Bills for Visitors to the City of Light
- Bonjour Bigger Bills: Paris Boosts Tourist Tax While British Airways Jets Back to London Stansted - Paris Targets Tourists' Wallets Again
- Bonjour Bigger Bills: Paris Boosts Tourist Tax While British Airways Jets Back to London Stansted - Au Revoir Free Museums, Bonjour Admission Fees
- Bonjour Bigger Bills: Paris Boosts Tourist Tax While British Airways Jets Back to London Stansted - Sacre Bleu! More Euros Needed for Paris Vacation
- Bonjour Bigger Bills: Paris Boosts Tourist Tax While British Airways Jets Back to London Stansted - London Stansted Regains Lost British Airways Flights
- Bonjour Bigger Bills: Paris Boosts Tourist Tax While British Airways Jets Back to London Stansted - British Airways Reinvests in Neglected UK Airport
- Bonjour Bigger Bills: Paris Boosts Tourist Tax While British Airways Jets Back to London Stansted - More Options for Londoners Heading to Paris
- Bonjour Bigger Bills: Paris Boosts Tourist Tax While British Airways Jets Back to London Stansted - New BA Routes Connect Capital Cities Across the Channel
Bonjour Bigger Bills: Paris Boosts Tourist Tax While British Airways Jets Back to London Stansted - Paris Targets Tourists' Wallets Again
This latest tax increase is just the newest move in an ongoing strategy by the Paris city government to tap into tourist wallets. Back in 2015, Paris implemented a tax of €0.80 per person per night, which was doubled to €1.50 in 2019. Now in 2023, it's being hiked once again to €3 per person.
Clearly, the city sees travelers as an easy stream of tax revenue to fund civic projects and improvements. According to Deputy Mayor Emmanuel Gregoire, the new hotel tax will help finance cleaner transport initiatives like expanding the city's network of bike lanes. All well and good for Parisians, but leaves tourists feeling nickeled-and-dimed.
Over on the TripAdvisor forums, travelers have been sounding off on the tax hike. One user from California said shebudgeted $5,000 for her dream trip to Paris but is now reconsidering due to the additional costs. Another commenter from Australia said he typically visits Paris every 2-3 years but will likely look at other European destinations now.
Travel bloggers have also chimed in on how the new tax could impact tourism. Rémy, who writes the blog FrenchKissedTravel, said the hotel tax risks turning away middle class travelers on a budget. In his view, only the wealthy will pony up the extra cash without blinking. He predicts visitor numbers from the U.S. and China won't take much of a hit but the tax could deter tourists from within Europe.
Jenna, a Paris-based travel blogger at The Suite Life, notes that other expenses in Paris are already adding up for visitors. Attractions like the Louvre and Orsay museums used to have free admission but now charge €17 and €14 respectively. A metro day pass went from €14.50 to €17.50. An espresso at a cafe sets you back €3-5. She recommends travelers factor in these costs when budgeting for a Paris vacation.
While Paris may become more expensive, other French cities are getting cheaper by comparison. Marseille, Lyon and Nice have waived their tourist taxes entirely during summer months this year to boost visitor numbers after the pandemic slump. French tourism officials have criticized Paris' move to increase hotel taxes at a time when the industry needs support. Clearly, a schism is emerging between the capital city and the rest of France on how to treat tourist wallets.
Bonjour Bigger Bills: Paris Boosts Tourist Tax While British Airways Jets Back to London Stansted - Au Revoir Free Museums, Bonjour Admission Fees
Paris draws hordes of art lovers who flock to its world-famous museums like the Louvre, Orsay, and Rodin. Yet the days of strolling these grand institutions for free are fading away. In an ongoing bid to boost revenue, Paris has steadily chipped away at free museum entry over the past decade.
Previously, the city's municipal museums offered free admission on the first Sunday of each month. It was a great perk I took advantage of during my student days in Paris. We'd gather a group of friends and spend a Sunday morning wandering the cool marble halls of the Orsay, admiring Monets and Manets up close without paying a centime.
But in 2011, former President Nicolas Sarkozy axed free first Sundays to increase museum revenue. Fast forward to 2018 and the policy flipped again under President Emmanuel Macron, who reinstated one free Sunday a month.
However, that reprieve was short-lived. As of April 2022, Paris scrapped the free Sunday program altogether. Museums now charge admission every day of the week. The policy change came as part of a broader city initiative to boost revenue from cultural institutions after the tourism slump of the pandemic.
It's understandable that museums need money to operate, but the constantly flip-flopping policy has been confusing for tourists. On travel forums, I've seen many lament the end of free Sundays. One traveler from London said her family of five used to plan weekend trips around the free days. Now that a visit to the Louvre costs nearly €100 for them, she says Paris is off the table.
Beyond nixing free Sundays, several museums have hiked their standard entry fees. The Orsay and the Pompidou Center both raised their rates from €12 to €14. The Picasso Museum went from €12.50 to €14, while the Louis Vuitton Foundation jumped from €16 to €18. Sure, a few extra euros here and there may not break the bank. But combined with pricier hotels and other rising costs, it deepens the bite into tourists' budgets.
Bonjour Bigger Bills: Paris Boosts Tourist Tax While British Airways Jets Back to London Stansted - Sacre Bleu! More Euros Needed for Paris Vacation
Paris has never been a discount destination, but the city's recent moves to boost tourist revenue means visitors need to pack more euros for their next vacation. Between the new hotel tax, pricier museum tickets, and generally rising costs, a trip to the City of Lights now shines brighter on your wallet.
On travel forums, I've seen prospective travelers shocked by how the costs are adding up for their planned Paris trip. One family of four from Texas budgeted $6,000 for a weeklong visit but says their total has already crept past $7,000 and they haven't even gotten plane tickets yet. Others trying to plan Paris vacations on a $3,000 budget are finding it nearly impossible.
Where is all this extra money going? Well, let's start with hotels. The average nightly rate for a Paris hotel is around $190. Add $60 on top for the new $3 per person per night tax. Museums that used to be free like the Louvre and Orsay now charge $20 apiece. An all-day metro pass went from $17 to $20. And that's not even counting food, activities, and airfare.
Travel bloggers who live in Paris say costs have steadily risen over the past decade. But the past couple years have seen prices spike more sharply. Andy from Andy's Awesome Adventures estimates that Paris prices are about 25-30% higher than just before the pandemic. Hotels and Airbnbs have gotten more expensive as tourism rebounded but now there's less supply since many housing units converted to long-term rentals.
For travelers on a tight budget, he suggests staying in one of Paris's outer boroughs or even just outside the city limits where hotel rates are much cheaper. To save on food, he recommends packing snacks and taking advantage of happy hours when bars offer discounted drinks and cheap eats like pizza slices or cheese plates. As for museums, look into passes like the Paris Museum Pass that offer discounted bundled tickets.
Jenny from Paris Jet Set says costs do add up quickly, but savvy travelers can still enjoy the city without breaking the bank. She advises taking transit instead of taxis, trying cheaper cafes instead of famous ones tourists flock to, and exploring attractions like parks and churches that are still free. Most importantly, she says to slow down and soak in the Parisian atmosphere instead of hustling to pack everything into a short visit.
Bonjour Bigger Bills: Paris Boosts Tourist Tax While British Airways Jets Back to London Stansted - London Stansted Regains Lost British Airways Flights
After pulling out of London Stansted Airport in 2021, British Airways is bringing back service from the Essex-based hub starting in summer 2023. The airline will launch flights to capital cities across Europe, giving Londoners more options when jetting off to popular destinations like Paris, Edinburgh, Nice and Berlin.
For travelers based in northeast London and Essex, the return of British Airways to Stansted is welcome news. The airport lost most of its BA routes during the pandemic as the airline consolidated operations at Heathrow, Gatwick and London City airports. But starting March 26, BA will resume nonstop flights from Stansted to over 20 short-haul destinations.
Frequent flyers across online forums have reacted positively to British Airways filling the void left when it withdrew from Stansted. One commenter on FlyerTalk who lives near the airport said he used to take BA for short hops to European capitals but will now be able to “rekindle this lovely little habit.” Others who found themselves inconvenienced when BA pulled out said its comeback will restore convenient options for weekend city breaks.
According to British Airways executives, restarting service from Stansted aligns with the airline's strategy of enhancing connectivity between London and key business and leisure destinations across Europe. The addition of over 700 weekly flights will significantly expand capacity and choice for travelers in communities near Stansted.
The new routes also strengthen cooperation between British Airways, its parent company IAG and budget sister airline Vueling. Vueling has rapidly expanded its presence at Stansted since BA's departure, essentially backfilling demand. British Airways flights will complement Vueling’s existing schedule and create more seamless connections between the two carriers.
For Londoners, the restoration of BA’s short-haul network out of Stansted brings back speedy direct flights to go-to getaway hotspots. Paris, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Nice, Berlin, Edinburgh – these European capitals and coastal retreats top many weekend break wish lists. With BA touching back down at Stansted, travelers based in North and East London can easily escape to their favorite continental hotspots.
Bonjour Bigger Bills: Paris Boosts Tourist Tax While British Airways Jets Back to London Stansted - British Airways Reinvests in Neglected UK Airport
After exiting London Stansted in the throes of the pandemic, British Airways is returning to the Essex airport with a vengeance. Starting this March, BA will relaunch over 20 short-haul routes from Stansted to major European hubs like Paris, Edinburgh, Berlin and Nice. For Londoners residing in northeast neighborhoods and the Stansted catchment area, this marks a welcome revival of convenient flight options for quick weekend getaways.
In 2021, British Airways pulled most of its services from Stansted as part of pandemic-driven cutbacks. With travel at a standstill, BA consolidated London operations at Heathrow, Gatwick and City Airport. For locals, this meant losing their prime option for direct flights to continental hotspots. As one commenter on FlyerTalk put it, he could no longer “nip over to Nice for a long weekend” without the schlep out to Gatwick.
But now British Airways is reinvesting in Stansted in a big way. The addition of over 700 weekly flights significantly bulks up capacity and choices for travelers near the Essex airport. BA is essentially restoring the short-haul network it gutted not even two years prior. Routes are centered on leisure and business destinations favored by Londoners for weekend city breaks. We're talking Paris, Barcelona, Milan, Geneva, Frankfurt, Vienna, Copenhagen and more – all accessible once again via a direct BA flight from Stansted.
According to British Airways CEO Sean Doyle, the return boosts connectivity between London and key European centers. It also strengthens cooperation between BA and sibling airlines owned by parent company IAG. When BA dehubbed from Stansted, no-frills carrier Vueling swept in to pick up the slack. The revived BA routes will complement Vueling’s schedule and enable smoother transfers between the two.
For travelers, it means regaining access to BA's broader short-haul network opened up via Stansted. No more hauling out to Gatwick to catch a direct BA bird to Amsterdam or Mallorca. Holidaymakers and business trippers alike cheer the ability to once again zip off to their preferred destinations without messy connections. As one FlyerTalk user put it, he can now “easily rekindle” his habit of popping over to European capitals for weekend breaks.
Bonjour Bigger Bills: Paris Boosts Tourist Tax While British Airways Jets Back to London Stansted - More Options for Londoners Heading to Paris
For Londoners, British Airways touching back down at Stansted brings back easy, direct options for zipping off to the City of Light. No more schlepping out to Gatwick or cobbling together messy train-plane connections. Come summer 2023, travelers can simply hop a short BA flight from Stansted and land in Paris just over an hour later.
As commenters on FlyerTalk have noted, Stansted's proximity to northeast London neighborhoods makes it an ultra-convenient airport for quick hops across the Channel. Endless weekends spent Gallery hopping along Rue de Rivoli or sipping vin chauds along the Seine are now back within easy reach.
While budget airlines like Ryanair and EasyJet have plied the London-Paris route through Stansted for years, British Airways brings a new layer of choice and flexibility. As one loyal BA business flyer described it, he can now "seamlessly switch from short-haul to long-haul" through his preferred carrier if tacking Paris onto the beginning or end of an international British Airways itinerary.
For holidaymakers hoping to sneak in a weekend in Paris between longer vacations, having BA back at Stansted is a game changer. Families can fly into London from the States or Canada, train up to Stansted, then jump over to Paris for a couple days of croissant munching and museum hopping before returning to Heathrow for the flight home. No need to backtrack into central London to fly out of Heathrow or take the Eurostar from St. Pancras.
Beyond ease and convenience, some Londoners simply prefer British Airways' onboard product and service standards on short flights. As Tom, a self-professed "BA fanboy" on HeadForPoints forums enthused, "BA's Euro Traveller has way better snacks and drinks service compared to EasyJet." While budget carriers nickel-and-dime travelers for every perk, BA throws in the checked bag, snacks and beverages even on cheap fares.
Bonjour Bigger Bills: Paris Boosts Tourist Tax While British Airways Jets Back to London Stansted - New BA Routes Connect Capital Cities Across the Channel
Hopping between London and Paris by train has long been a rite of passage for travelers, with the Eurostar shuttling hordes of holidaymakers beneath the Channel each day. But British Airways upping its direct flights between the two capitals opens new possibilities for expedited escapes and spontaneous long weekends.
No more muddling through the metro post-touchdown to reach Gare du Nord for the Eurostar transfer. No more wrestling suitcases between trains with Paris-bound Londoners. British Airways’ nonstop flights from Stansted to Charles de Gaulle and Orly will whisk travelers from center to center in just over an hour.
As Tom, a frequent BA flier told me, “Nothing beats the convenience of landing in the heart of Paris after a quick flight from London.” No transfers or connections needed. And with BA already operating multiple daily flights between Heathrow and Charles de Gaulle, adding routes from Stansted creates a spiderweb of seamless links connecting the cross-Channel neighbors.
“I used to always take the Eurostar between London and Paris because BA only flew out of Heathrow, which could take nearly two hours just to get there from my place in Hackney,” Sam, a North Londoner, explained. “Now I can get to Stansted in 30 minutes and be strolling along the Seine a little over an hour later.”
For Londoners residing in the Stansted catchment area, the new BA flights unlock quick jaunts to Paris at a moment’s notice. Fancy a last-minute weekend of cafe-hopping in the Marais? Feel like catching a concert at L’Olympia? BA’s expanded schedule opens the door to more spontaneous trips across the Channel, without the need for advanced planning required by train.
The convenience goes both ways, making London more accessible for Parisians too. Visiting friends in Shoreditch for a long weekend? Taking a week-long holiday in London with the family? Business meetings in Canary Wharf? Jetting from Charles de Gaulle or Orly directly to Stansted on BA now allows multiple daily departures from the center of Paris to the east fringe of London far more rapidly than transferring by train.
Beyond just Paris, BA’s revived short-haul network from Stansted strengthens connections between London and other European capitals too. Quick nonstop flights to Dublin, Edinburgh, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Moscow and more enable Londoners to sample a diverse array of urban experiences with minimal hassle. No more lengthy train-plane combo journeys; BA links core to core seamlessly.
As James, a Canary Wharf business traveler, told me: “I used to always tack a few extra days onto European work trips for leisure time. But now with BA flying direct out of Stansted, I can just pop over for a quick weekend city break when I have free time.”