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Logics behind evading overnight taxes: a configurational analysis

Pietro Beritelli (IMP-HSG, University of St. Gallen, St. Gallen, Switzerland)
Stephan Reinhold (Department of Organisation and Entrepreneurship, Linnaeus University, Växjö, Sweden)
Christian Laesser (IMP-HSG University of St. Gallen, St. Gallen, Switzerland)

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management

ISSN: 0959-6119

Article publication date: 31 January 2020

Issue publication date: 10 February 2020




Overnight taxes are controversial. They affect tourists’ consumption behavior and hotels’ profits. This potentially generates undesirable industry practices such as underreporting overnights to evade overnight taxes. The aim of the paper is to understand the conditions and outcomes of underreporting. This is important because underreporting affects destinations’ tax income, which in turn may have further effects on tourism or other public services.


This study uses qualitative comparative analysis to identify what specific combinations of conditions motivate managers of hospitality businesses to evade overnight taxes.


While potential economic gain seems to be the obvious answer, this study finds that different configurations of causal conditions account for non-compliance. Four different configurations combining six conditions explain the logics behind hotel overnight tax evasion behavior. The conditions refer to both utilitarian affordances and the individual tax morale of hospitality managers. Certain utilitarian conditions in combination can overrule moral objections to non-compliance.


The study provides a nuanced understanding of overnight tax evasion motives and suggests how to connect work on tourism taxes with destination governance issues and destination management organization funding.



Beritelli, P., Reinhold, S. and Laesser, C. (2020), "Logics behind evading overnight taxes: a configurational analysis", International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Vol. 32 No. 2, pp. 871-888.



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