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New Study Details Hotel Occupancy Taxes
in Top 50 U.S. Destinations

LOS ANGELES - July 30, 2008 - The National Business Travel Association (NBTA) today released the findings of a comprehensive study of car rental, hotel and meal taxes in the top 50 U.S. travel destination cities (by number of air travelers), funded in part by the association’s research and education foundation, the NBTA Foundation. 

NBTA President & CEO Kevin Maguire, CCTE, said, “NBTA is pleased to provide this unique and important research to help companies maximize the value of their travel budgets. As travel taxes skyrocket in cities across the country, business travel and meetings decision-makers are increasingly considering the tax burden as a factor in their decision-making. The current economic slump is increasing buyers’ cost sensitivity and making taxes a more important factor in travel and meeting purchasing.” 

The study provides several different views of travel taxes to help readers make informed choices. The top 50 markets are ranked by overall travel tax burden, including general sales tax and discriminatory travel taxes, and by discriminatory travel tax burden, excluding general sales taxes to count only taxes that target car rentals, hotel stays and meals. Separate data are offered for central city and airport locations, as the tax regimes are often distinct. In addition to combined data on car rental, hotel and meal taxes, separate data are provided for each of the three spend categories. 

Fay Beauchine, Chair of the NBTA Foundation, commented, “With travel costs on the rise, corporate travel and meetings managers are making adjustments to further contain costs. The NBTA Foundation was pleased to underwrite this travel tax research to give them a complete picture of the taxes imposed on travel services to help them minimize the negative impact of those taxes on the company’s bottom line.” 

The research shows the U.S. cities where travelers incur the lowest total tax burden in central city locations, factoring in general sales taxes and discriminatory travel taxes for lodging, car rentals, and meals, are: 

1.   Honolulu, HI $21.45/day 
2.   Portland, OR $22.83/day 
3.   Fort Lauderdale, FL $23.35/day 
3.   Fort Myers, FL $23.35/day 
5.   West Palm Beach, FL $24.67/day 
The cities that impose the highest total taxes on travelers are: 
1.   Chicago, IL $42.44/day 
2.   Nashville, TN $39.55/day 
3.   Charlotte, NC $38.80/day 
4.   Seattle, WA $38.70/day 
5.   Houston, TX $37.62/day 
Discriminatory travel taxes are those imposed specifically on travel services above and beyond general sales taxes. The U.S. cities with the lowest discriminatory travel tax rates for lodging, car rentals, and meals in central city locations are: 
1.   Oakland, CA $7.58/day 
2.   West Palm Beach, FL $7.62/day 
2.   Fort Lauderdale, FL $7.62/day 
2.   Fort Myers, FL $7.62/day 
5.   Orange county, CA $8.10/day 
The cities that impose the highest discriminatory travel taxes on travelers for lodging, car rentals, and meals are: 
1.   Portland, OR $22.83/day 
2.   Seattle, WA $21.64/day 
3.   Atlanta, GA $19.82/day 
4.   Charlotte, NC $19.78/day 
5.   Chicago, IL $18.83/day 
Maguire commented, “Local and state officials around the country wondering how to attract more visitors should look at Florida and California, popular destinations for both business and leisure travelers. Fifteen of the top 16 cities imposing the lowest discriminatory tax rates on travelers are in those two states.” 

He continued, “Cities that disproportionately target travelers for revenue are probably losing market share without even knowing it. Travelers who have been burned by taxes start looking for alternatives. That could mean trading down to less expensive hotels, car or meal options; staying with friends; taking shorter trips; or choosing an alternative destination. The lesson here? If you want travelers to come back to your city, you shouldn’t hit them with ‘travel tax sticker shock.’” 

Lodging Taxes at Top 50 U.S Destinations

For the full report, please visit

About NBTA 
The National Business Travel Association (NBTA) is the world’s premier business travel and corporate meetings organization. NBTA and its regional affiliates – NBTA Asia Pacific, NBTA Canada, NBTA Mexico and NBTA USA – serve a network of more than 15,000 business travel professionals around the globe with industry-leading events, networking, education & professional development, research, news & information, and advocacy. NBTA members, numbering more than 4,000 in 30 nations, are corporate and government travel and meetings managers, as well as travel service providers. They collectively manage and direct more than US$200 billion of global business travel and meetings expenditures annually on behalf of more than 10 million business travelers within their organizations. For more information, visit 
About NBTA Foundation 
The NBTA Foundation is the education and research foundation of the National Business Travel Association (NBTA). The foundation was established in 1997 to support NBTA’s members and the industry as a whole. As the leading education and research foundation in the business travel industry, the NBTA Foundation seeks to fund initiatives to advance the business travel profession. The foundation offers the only master’s-level accredited course and professional designation for the corporate travel professional, the Global Leadership Professional (GLP) program, in partnership with The Wharton School. The industry’s leading benchmarking resource – the Managed Travel Index® (MTI) & Benchmarking Tool – is offered by the foundation. The NBTA Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. For more information, see 
About the NBTA Convention 
Widely recognized as the must-attend event for business travel buyers, suppliers, industry leaders and business travel journalists, the 2008 NBTA International Convention & Exposition will be held in Los Angeles from July 27-30. More than 6,000 travel professionals are expected to take advantage of the convention’s programming, designed to empower attendees to maximize value for their companies, including more than 40 seminars on the most important topics in business travel, more than 460 companies exhibiting in the Expo and countless opportunities for networking with peers. For details, visit 


National Business Travel Association (NBTA)
Caleb Tiller, +1 703-684-0836 ext. 138 

Also See: Dallas Hotel Association Oopposes 3% Boost in Occupancy Tax to Help Fund Dallas Cowboys New Stadium; 18% Rate Would Be One of Highest In Country / May 2004


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