Agents are calling for clarity on how the Balearics’ “tourism tax” is being spent, after fees were “doubled” for the summer period last week.
As part of changes made on May 1 to the islands’ Sustainable Tourism Tax, holidaymakers staying between May and October will now be charged up to €4 per person per day depending on the type of accommodation, time of year and length of their stay. This is a rise from up to €2 per person per day when the tax was first brought in, in 2016.
Children under 16 are exempt from the tax, while visitors can claim a 50% discount starting from the ninth day of their stay in the same accommodation.
For the first time this year, cruise passengers will also have to pay up to €2 per person per day regardless of the length of shore-side stay, having previously only had to pay if they were ashore for more than 12 hours.
According to the islands’ tourist board, last year the tax raised a total of €64 million, which has been invested into 70 projects.
The board said in a statement: “The revenues of the tax are invested into projects to preserve the local heritage and environment and substantially reduce the negative impact of tourism to create a more long-term and sustainable tourism destination. Projects include water management, the protection and preservation of landscapes and the preservation of ecologically valuable areas and/or key cultural heritage sites.”
Agents told TTG they believed more education for the trade about the tax would help them ease customers’ “frustrations”.
Lee Hunt, managing director of Deben Travel in Woodbridge, said: “Instead of just adding the tax on, explaining its benefits to us properly means nine out of 10 clients would say ‘yes, that makes sense’ and it would make life easier.”
Tony Mann, director of Bradford’s Idle Travel, added: “We need more examples. If we could see where the money was being spent, the trade would have more support for the tax, and that would filter down to customers.”
More information on which projects are being financed by the tax was later passed to TTG by a spokesperson for the Balearic Islands Tourist Board.
The spokesperson added that the details had also been sent to "all relevant associations and major tour operators".
Further details can be found at: www.caib.es/sites/impostturisme/en/inici/