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Tourists to the Balearics will be subject to an eco-tax

It has been tried before in the Balearics and was abandoned after a year due to a fall in the number of holiday makers visiting the Spanish islands. It has therefore surprised many in the industry that the islands government is to introduce the tax again, which could, depending on the establishment stayed at, add up to £80 for a family of four on a two week holiday.

The idea of the tax on tourist accommodation was floated towards the end of last year and is intended to help preserve the environment of the islands. It has been brought before and approved by the Balearic Parliament and the eco tax will be charged at up to €2 per day, effective from July 1.

The charge will vary according to the class of accommodation with a charge of €1 per day for stays in one-star to three-star hotels and cruise ships, to €2 for stays in some four-star and five-star hotels and it is also added to high end apartments that will also cost €1-€2 per day, campsites and holiday rentals also will have the tax imposed.

Defending the decision the islands’ vice-president and tourism minister commented that: “With the help of the tax revenue, we will be able to maintain and improve the quality of tourism on the Balearics.” He went on to say that it only represented a surcharge of just 1.4% to the holiday budget.

There does appear to be a small concession for holidaymakers staying over nine days as the tax will be reduced by 50% as they are classed as “long-term” holidaymakers, which may surprise those of us who take an annual two week holiday.

It is claimed that the tax revenue will allow the islands’ to “reclaim” their heritage, extend the season, move toward a model of sustainable tourism, and include training in tourism. A specific website is being set up which will provide visitors, tour operators and locals a way of monitoring how the funds raised are being used.

It will be the responsibility of the hotel to pass the revenue on to the regional government.

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