Friday, May 02, 2008

New tax on guesthouses

The Commune of Fez has slapped a new tax on guesthouses in the medina, and owners are up in arms, The View from Fez has learned.

There's always been an Dh8 taxe de promotion touristique per person per night that guesthouses either add to the bill of their guests, or cost into their price structure. But now there's a new taxe de sejour of Dh30 per person per night. And to add insult to injury, guesthouse owners have to pay this retrospectively from January 2008. Apparently there has not been any notice of this new tax, so owners have not been charging their guests this amount over the last four months.

'I'm scandalised! I've just spent all my profits for the first three months of the year in paying these back taxes', moaned one guesthouse owner.

It's not good for Fez visitors either who now have to pay Dh38 per person per night in taxes on top of their bill. On an average stay of three nights for one couple, that works out to another Dh228, or puts their bill up by more than another 20 Euros. With guesthouse prices starting at around 60 Euros per night, that's quite a lot.

A spokesman for the CRT (Conseil Regionale de Tourisme) said he was talking to the mayor of Fez, M. Shabbat, in the hopes of getting some kind of respite.

Please note; We would welcome comments on this topic.



Driss said...

Thank you for mentioning. Great concern. I think it is pressure from big hotel chains. It must be stopped.

Anonymous said...

It sounds like a money-grabbing scheme to me. Do the big hotels pay this tax too, and if so, at what rate?

Anonymous said...

We need an association to protect the owners from greedy institutions. This tax is just a money grab

Fatima S said...

Please keep telling people about this scandal. Hsuma on the people who try and harm the growing tourist industry in our beloved country and Fes.

Thank you for your blog.

Anonymous said...

It's another way to kill the investment in Fes.
Thank you

Fassi said...

Shukran! Keep the light on this very bad tax. It is not good for Fes or Morocco. I too blame the people who run the big hotels they are worried by our success.

Anonymous said...

Yep, it sounds like some people say one thing (promoting tourism in Fez) and acting the other way around. It's time guesthouses get organised and voice their needs together.

Claude said...

Having renovated (saved) and old riad so that I could run a small tourist business, I find the taxes in Morocco are far higher than they should be. To add another tax like this is an insult. Do the authorities not realise how much we and our guests contribute to the Fez economy. In reality we should be given encouragement and tax breaks, not yet another tax.

Anonymous said...

They suppressed Raynair flight Lutton-Fez ! Also BA flight London-Fez ! And Transavia flights Paris-Fez ! Now they invented a new huge rate taxes on guesthouse ! Thank you for helping us, thank you for helping Fez and Moroccan tourism to grow up and be efficient, thank you to help us to restore an renovate houses in the old medina, to help the Moroccan economy in some way ! Thank you a lot to help us to sell our riads and go away ! FL

Anonymous said...

Lile many people I have difficulty determining who exactly each local govenment organisation actually are?

Who are the Commune de Fes, is this the Wilaya or Baladia or some other organisation? Are they responsible for all Fes or just the medina?

Does the tax only apply to Guesthouses in the medina or to all hotel establishments in all of Fes?

Can someone answer these questions, they are not rhetorical.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like we need some answers here! That there are no direct flights from the UK has harmed business hugely for guesthouses, hotels, shops and real estate agencies; now this new tax is prohibitive for both guesthouses and guests from all over the world.
The Commune is the City of Fez run by the mayor, M. Shabbat. Is there a current association of guesthouse owners? If so, they should send a delegation to the mayor and the Minister of Tourism. I don't understand why the authorities are intent on killing off business in Fez.

Anonymous said...

Ah, TAXES! Perhaps it is a good idea to give back to the community in which you derive a livelihood. 228Dh over three days does sound a lot more than the 3-4 Euro a night...and with prices starting at 60 Euro/night (and most much higher)that doesn't sound too exorbitant. And for the scandalised owner who has spent all his profits paying this..well, well..
What i really find difficult is always hearing how every one buying and restoring a riad or whatever is doing this to help or improve whatever medina they live in. Somehow, this doesn't really strike me as an altruistic endeavor. Then the expectation is to provide more direct air flights (great for the environment and fuel consumption) as well as providing extra services.What do MOST Moroccans benefit from all this. What Morocco does not need is more tourism.
By the way, i am a long time resident.

Yazami said...

Your last correspondent (anonymous) claims to be a long term resident. Well done! But his( I suspect not her) hollier than thou attitude is a pain in the butt.
Tourism in Fes is critical for the economy - and while not a great royalist (Sarkozy has cured me of that) - I actually agree with the King and his vision for our country. We need tourists and we need long term residents - but maybe not such self-righteous ones.

This topic is about a money making scheme that has been hatched up by the big hotel owners who fear the loss of income caused by many Moroccan and foreign guest houses.

Thank you for publishing my remarks.

Anonymous said...

I have heard that the tax has been decided at national level.

However each region gets to decide the level of the tax in their area. I understand that the equivalent tax in Marrakech is 25 dhms. I understand that the tax also varies depending on the catagorisation of your establishment.

The issue in Fes is that ALL Guesthouses in the medina have been placed in the highest catagory.

If anyone has any more concrete information, please post.

Anonymous said...

I, for one, will not pay it! I'll stay in Seffrou instead. What a rip-off, price gouge! I am outraged. -Holly