It was a historic day in the Balearic parliament on Tuesday. For the first time ever a surcharge on visiting tourists was approved with little or no fuss. No protests, no statements from hoteliers demanding that it be withdrawn, no claims from tour firms that it will hit the Balearic tourist industry hard. It was approved and on 1 July it will be introduced. The last time a Balearic government attempted to introduce a tax of this type it had to be scrapped because of an outcry across Europe. This time, no fuss, So what has changed? I think probably two things. Firstly, public opinion: the majority appear to back a tourist tax. Secondly, the record holiday season appears to mean that tourists will come to the islands in strength even though they will have to pay an additional surcharge. Obviously the big winners are the Balearic government. They have managed to pull off a major result. I suspect that on 1 July there is going to be an outcry from some tourists who have little knowledge of the surcharge. But by that time it will be too late. The tax will have been introduced and that is the end of the story. At the end of the day we are not talking about a large sum, a few euros on the price of your holiday. Similar taxes already exist in other parts of the country and the Balearics will be no different. So, incredible but true the Balearic government have managed to introduce a tax on tourists with few problems. It will be interesting to see if their lucky break will continue.
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