Balearics tourist tax public consultation starts today


Public consultation begins today on the new tourist tax for Majorca, Menorca, Ibiza, and Formentera.

Balearics tourism officials say the tax, which is due to come into force on July 1, will add up to 1% to the price of holidays to the islands.

ABTA has already condemned the plans for the tax and pointed to the fact that the islands tried to impose an eco-tax of €1 a day back in 2002, but dropped it quietly just a year later.

The UK travel industry had hoped the tax would be dropped this time too, but plans are pressing ahead.

Biel Barcelo, vice-president of the Balearics and minister for tourism, said the tax was ‘far less than the near 6% the hoteliers have increased their rates by on average this year’.

Speaking to the Majorca news website, Majorca Daily Bulletin, he said the tax would fund the ‘preservation and protection’ of tourism in Balearics.

He said the islands were simply following the lead of scores of European countries which already charge a tourist tax.

The tourist tax legislation is being published in the Official Bulletin of State today, which will kick start a seven-day public consultation.

The tax applies to anyone staying overnight in a hotel, holiday home or cruise ship and depends on the category of accommodation.

For example, it’s €2 a night for four and five-star hotels and apartments, €1 for cruise ships and 50 cents for campsites or hostels.

Children under 16 are exempt and the tax will be halved on the ninth day of any stay.

Officials expect the tax will raise around €60 million each year and say it will all be reinvested in the industry.

It plans to develop a special website so visitors can see how the money is being spent.

The islands are also tightening up on regulations for holiday rentals, giving more power to local councils to control standards.

Around 3.4 million UK tourists visit the Balearic islands each year, mostly to Majorca.

An ABTA spokeswoman today said: “We are in regular contact with the authorities and we have written to the Balearic authorities for clarification on where money raised by the sustainable tourism tax will be spent, and which sustainability projects will benefit from it.”

She said members should now be informing their customers about the tax.

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