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Hoteliers take legal action against Balearic 'tourist tax'
03 October 2016 @ 22:03

HOTEL industry workers in Mallorca have filed legal action against the Balearic regional government over its unpopular 'tourist tax', where a fee of between 50 cents and €2 a night is added to holidaymakers' hotel bills.

Deputy regional president and minister for research, innovation and tourism, Biel Barceló, has slammed the move, saying the Balearic authorities 'do not understand it'.

“We're talking about a tax that we consider irreversible; which means extra resources for the region and for the environment, and which benefits all residents of the Balearics,” says an annoyed and baffled Barceló.

The complaint was lodged with the court of first instance in Palma which deals with contentious civil issues by the Mallorca Federation of Hotel Traders (FEHM), since tourism industry bosses believe it will put visitors off as it makes their holidays more expensive.

And as the largest national group which visits the islands is British – outstripping even the Germans, who habitually flock to Palma in huge numbers – the fall in the sterling as a result of the Brexit vote has already pushed up the price of holidays in the Eurozone, meaning the 'tourist tax' merely aggravates the situation.

It has been labelled an 'eco-tax' so it appears 'less unfriendly' to visitors, and to make it more palatable as it gives the impression it is aimed at protecting the environment.

The money clawed back through holidaymakers is destined entirely for new facilities and infrastructure and on protecting the environment from the impact of mass tourism, stresses Barceló.

Major hydraulics projects will be funded through the more than €30 million earned this summer alone, to guarantee a quality on-tap water supply to all visitors and residents at a time when the Balearics bears the brunt of Spain's population doubling, if not trebling, in high season.


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