A Booking.com user searches for accommodation through the multinational’s website.
82.9% of households in Spain have some type of device with which to connect to the Internet, according to the latest survey by the National Institute of Statistics (INE) on equipment and use of technology in Spanish families.
Of this total, 55.3% have made a purchase online and if we go deeper into these data, 24.9% of the population has contracted a service linked to travel. In fact, searches for transportation or accommodation are two of the queries that have grown the most in the last year.
With these figures, it is not surprising that the tourism sector has turned to online commerce to the point of turning the Internet into a key part of its business: it represents 66% of sales worldwide, according to the German portal Statista, which also prepares a ranking of the main online agencies by their income.
Booking, Expedia, Trivago, Rumbo and Lastminute agencies, which control a good portion of the online travel agency pie and operate in Spain, appear on that list. Therefore, in the middle of the debate on the contribution of large companies to public finances, the question of how much tax these companies pay and where they do so is legitimate.
The large online agencies are taxed outside of Spain on their income in the country because, according to El Economista, their only billing comes from charging their parent companies for the provision of services, normally for advertising and image reasons. The same newspaper points out, echoing data collected by Informa del Registro Mercantil, that only a total of only 2.3 million euros are taxed to the Spanish Treasury.
The online travel agency that pays the most
The Spanish subsidiary of the Dutch Booking.com is the online travel agency that has contributed the most to the treasury: 2.02 million euros in taxes after obtaining a result of 4.7 million in 2020, the latest data available.
Lastminute.com and Trivago, which in 2021 improved their results, have entered the public coffers 108,000 and 17,932 euros respectively in taxes.
In any case, all these agencies are linked to parent companies -from which they obtain their income- whose corporate headquarters are registered abroad, which makes them pay taxes in the countries where they say they belong.
Thus, Bookings Hispánica does so in the Netherlands through Booking Holdings Inc.; Expedia Spain does the same with Expedia Inc, Expedia Lodging Partner and EAN.com LP, located in Seattle, Switzerland and Texas, respectively.
Trivago operates through a company in the Netherlands, although the group’s headquarters are in Germany. Rumbo has related operations with 16 companies that are located, among other countries, in Switzerland or the United Kingdom. Lastminute.com belongs to the same business group as this latest online travel giant.
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.