British holidaymakers to pay more to visit Majorca, Menorca and Ibiza as Balearic government plans tourist tax of £1.50 a day

  • Angry tour operators say a tourist tax would driver holidaymakers away
  • A tax would fund efforts to protect natural resources, say Balearic officials
  • About three million British holidaymakers flock to the islands every year

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British travellers will be forced to spend more to Discount Holidays © holiday in Majorca, Menorca or Ibiza next year, as Spain s Balearic islands plan a new tourist tax for overnight visitors. A tax of ‘ 1- ‘ 2 (approximately 1.50) per person per day has been slammed by tour operators and the Association of British Travel Agents (Abta), who claim the levy will drive tourists away from the islands and inflict major financial losses on businesses. But tourism bosses within the Balearic government, which has already looked at capping the number of foreign visitors, said the tax will fund efforts to protect the islands natural resources, with tens of millions of euros in revenue.

Tourists would be charged ‘ 1- ‘ 2 (approximately 1.50) per day for overnight stays in the Balearics

Biel Barcelo, tourism minister for the Mediterranean islands, told Spanish newspaper Mallorca Diario1 that money generated from a tourist tax would also be reinvested in the tourism industry. The tax was proposed at a time when the islands are expected to welcome a record number of foreign visitors. About three million British holidaymakers flock to the Balearics, including the island of Formentera, for sun, sand and wild parties every year.

Mr Barcelo told the newspaper that the islands are overrun with tourists in peak months such as July and August, and it has become particularly problematic in Ibiza. The Balearics’ tourism minister said the number of visitors to Ibiza has become ‘particularly problematic’

This summer, British police officers spent time in Magaluf, a popular retreat on the island of Majorca, to help local authorities to control rowdy visitors from the UK. Meanwhile, critics say the islands risk losing millions if the tax is implemented and holidaymakers choose to travel to beaches and party elsewhere.

In a statement, Abta said any tax would only have the unintended consequence of driving tourists away from the islands.

Of course safeguarding the environment of the islands has to be a high priority, but this tax is not the most sensible way to fund these efforts. Last week Airbnb announced that it will charge visitors to Paris a ‘tourist tax’ that will have to be paid each night they stay in the French capital. The charge, labelled the ‘taxe de sejour,’ will be 83 cents per day, and will be handed over to the local authority.

It is believed to be a response to criticism from Parisian hotels who have cited unfair competition over accommodation.

References

  1. ^ Mallorca Diario (www.mallorcadiario.com)

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