It has been confirmed that Lisbon’s tourist tax will be used to finance the Eurovision Song Contest 2018.
The Mayor of Lisbon, Fernando Medina, revealed to the English-language newspaper, The Portugal News, that the €1 tourist tax per person per night charged to visitors staying in the city will cover the bill to stage the event. Since this levy was introduced last year, it has generated €13.5 million for the city. Portugal has seen the number of visitors to the country rise every year for the past six years, with 18 million people visiting the country in 2016. Given that number of tourists is expected to increase again this and next year, it is expected that the tourist tax will be able to fund the contest.
RTP’s CEO, Gonçalo Reis, also shared how much RTP is looking forward to organising the contest for the first time ever. “We are very excited. We understand the responsibility we’re being given. We understand the complexity, the grandeur and the requisites it entails. But we also know that RTP, with its partners, can grow in accordance with these situations and we’re going to make the most of it.”
Mr. Reis described the contest as “a huge window into Portugal, into the city, the music industry, the content industry, and also for RTP. And therefore it is a great opportunity to project ourselves internationally.” He did, however, also concede that Portugal’s Eurovision would be the “most economic” festival “in recent years.” No budget has been revealed for the Eurovision yet.
The MEO Arena in the Park of Nations will host the two semi-finals and the grand final on May 8, 10 and 12. Terreiro do Paço will also be hosting a series of shows relating to Eurovision. The northern city of Guimarães will welcome Festival da Canção in March 2018, which will mark the first time in 16 years that the festival will not be held in Lisbon.
Sources: The Portugal News