Tax-hit Brits seek alternativ​e options to save holiday

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With Britain’s economy still rebooting and cries of austerity continuing to ring in our ears, the economic downturn is having a huge impact on how Britons take their holidays. A recent survey * has revealed that two out of five people are giving up their annual break to safeguard their finances and foreign holidays are down three per cent.

The European hotel industry has seen a sharp rise in overnight rates, with the average cost of standard double rooms in the UK reaching £117, according to hotel price comparison website 2.  Furthermore, cities around Europe are proposing to introduce tourist and hotel taxes adding yet more cost to the price of a family holiday.


Yet at the same time is reporting a year on year increase in enquiries of 25 per cent, as cash strapped families seek alternative options to preserve their much longed-for getaway.

In Cornwall, it has been reported that the council is considering a £1-a-night tax on visiting tourists to help pay for infrastructure maintenance, as the number of visitors to the county swells significantly during the summer and school holidays. If the tax comes into force, a family of four could pay an extra £20 when staying for five nights. This is comparable to entry into the Eden Project3 for one person.

Venice is the latest city to introduce a hotel bed tax, which will commence on 1 July 2011. The tax will help fund its infrastructure and safeguard its cultural monuments resulting in a family of four having to pay an extra £70.61 (€80*) when staying in a four star hotel for five nights. This cost is almost equivalent to the entrance fee into Doge’s Palace4 £56.52 (€64) for a family of four.


City authorities in Florence have also announced comparable plans to introduce an accommodation tax from 1 July this year, whereby a family of four staying in a four star hotel for five nights would pay an extra £70.61 (€80*), twice the cost of entry into Europe’s most crowded museum, Uffizi Gallery5 £35.39 (€40) for a family of four.

Rome introduced a similar tax at the start of 2011 in an initiative to improve the maintenance of its historical monuments leading to a family of four paying an extra £52.96 (€60*) when staying at a four star hotel for five nights. This cost is nearly twice the price of entry into the National Roman Museum6 £28.29 (€32) for two adults with two teenage children.

Soaring overnight hotel rates, a weak exchange rate and the introduction of hotel and tourist taxes can take holidays above budget eating into precious spending money. But all is not lost. Opt for a self-catering holiday and uncover good value accommodation. Most importantly for families, the cost per person is significantly less than a hotel room.

Kate Stinchcombe-Gillies, spokesperson for, says: “An apartment rental for a city break puts you right at the heart of the community, ensuring you experience as much of local life as possible so that you leave having truly experienced your destination, rather than taken your concierge’s word for it. As holiday apartments are free from the new tourist/hotel taxes, this change it likely to encourage more people to experience the extra freedom and space of a rental compared to a hotel. In turn, they will also benefit from the rate per person per night of a rental being cheaper.”

Some of the properties on offer…..

Central Apartment, Central Rome


Sleeps up to six (two bedrooms) from £714 per week (£119 per person per week)

·Located on the top floor, this modern two bedroom apartment has a king size bed and a room with twin beds – ideal for a family or group of friends.

·Situated on Via Nazionale, a few minutes’ walk from the Colosseum, Piazza Venezia and many chic Italian boutiques.

·200 metres from Palazzo delle Esposizioni known for its local artists.

The Warehouse, Dorsoduro, Venice


Sleeps up to five (two bedrooms) from £625 per week (£125 per person per week)

·Spacious two bedroom flat situated near the Fondmenta de l’Arzere in Dorsoduro.

·The building originally an olive oil warehouse subsequently a boat builder’s workshop dates back to the 19th century.

·Visit lively market stalls selling fresh food five minutes away from the apartment.

·Churches such as Santa Maria dei Carmini and the gothic monastery are not far away.

Picturesque Fiesole Apartment, Central Florence


Sleeps up to four (two bedrooms) from £491 per week (£122.75 per person per week)

·Newly restored apartment located in the ancient hamlet of Ponte alla Badia, a delightful green and tranquil residential area.

·The apartment offers splendid views of the city and olive groves.

·Historical sites are within a 10 minute bus journey from the apartment.

·An excellent spot from which to explore towns such as Tuscany, Chianti and Siena.

Little Fistral Pentire Mews Apartment, Pentire, Cornwall


Sleeps up to four (one bedroom) from £294 per week (£73.50 per person per week)

·Luxurious one bedroom apartment located within the Pentire Mews, close to the Gannel Estuary.

·Fistral and Crantock beaches are close by offering a peaceful and relaxing setting ideal for families.

·Excellent restaurants are available just down the road in nearby Padstow.

·Perfect as a touring base for exploring the surrounding towns rich in culture and history.

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