Beginning in 2024, the United Kingdom will introduce an entry fee for tourists. The UK government confirmed the development of this new fee policy this week, along with announcing the Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) implementation dates, CNN reported. This tax measure aligns with the trend of entry fees for visa-exempt travelers observed in the U.S. and the EU.
Travelers will have to pay £10 (equivalent to $12.50) for the ETA. It will grant them permission to enter the country for a period of two years. To obtain the ETA, individuals will need to provide their passport information through the official app or website.
This move by the UK follows a trend set by the U.S.. They have been charging visitors for electronic travel authorizations since 2009. Currently, the U.S. offers a two-year ESTA for $21. The European Union (EU) is adopting a comparable system with the introduction of the seven-euro ETIAS. It is scheduled to be available in Europe from 2024.
Fee for Tourists to Control Over Tourist Influx
The new entrance fee for tourists primarily applies to individuals who do not require visas to enter the United Kingdom. These countries have implemented such measures to ensure better management and control over the tourist influx. By implementing the ETA system, the UK aims to streamline the process of screening and monitoring visitors, enhancing security and facilitating efficient entry procedures.
Many destinations around the world will introduce tourist taxes or increase the fee of the existing ones this year. According to local governments, the tourist taxes generate additional revenue for the local governments and help fund sustainable tourism initiatives. Some critics argue that such taxes may discourage tourists from visiting these destinations and have a negative impact on the local economy.