Tourist tax for sustainability: Determining willingness to pay

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Göktaş L. S., ÇETİN G.

European Journal of Tourism Research, vol.35, 2023 (ESCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 35
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.54055/ejtr.v35i.2813
  • Journal Name: European Journal of Tourism Research
  • Journal Indexes: Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), Scopus, CAB Abstracts, Hospitality & Tourism Complete, Hospitality & Tourism Index, Veterinary Science Database, Directory of Open Access Journals
  • Keywords: Accommodation Tax, City Tax, Sustainable Tourism, Tourist Tax, Willingness to Pay
  • Istanbul University Affiliated: Yes


Tourist tax has become increasingly important to destinations worldwide to internalize the external costs of tourism and to support tourism investments, provide social services and protect the environment. Based on “the user pays principle”, tourist tax aims for a fair distribution of the costs created by tourism activity. It is therefore important to explore the tourists’ willingness to pay tourist tax, identify its antecedents, and examine outcomes of tourist tax. However, few studies have examined attitudes of tourist as taxpayers. Hence, the present study aims to the determine tourists’ willingness to pay (WTP) tourist tax to enhance sustainable tourism and identify the factors affecting their willingness. Informed by the literature review, various scenarios of willingness to pay tourist tax were created. The scenario surveys were collected from tourists staying at least one night in Istanbul. Data from 428 responses collected were analyzed by utilizing the Tobit model in the STATA v14 program. The results indicate that average amount that tourists are willing to pay varied with each scenario. The WTP was lowest when the expenditure items were not specified whereas it was highest for the cultural heritage support scenario. In line with the proposed model, willingness to pay also depended on socio-demographic variables, knowledge level, travel content, and behavioral factors.