The Balearic ministry for tourism has taken the next step ahead of the introduction of the tourist tax by writing to the international travel trade informing them of the new surcharge which comes into force on 1 July. In the letter the ministry spells out how the money will be spent and also its exact cost. But I do not think that a single letter is enough. To avoid any problems when tourists are presented with a bill for a tax they know little or nothing about the local ministry needs to go into overdrive and inform everyone about the tax and how the money will be spent. They should even contemplate an advertising campaign in the British and German media. The tourism ministry expects the tax to raise in excess of 50 million euros a year, a big sum and really they could spend some of it on informing tourists that their holiday in the Balearics Islands just got a big more expensive. Granted it is a small sum but it is a tax and tourists should know how the money is going to be spent. I would also urge the local ministry to set up an information point at Palma airport where tourists can be informed of what is happening and how the tax will be paid. So far the local ministry for tourism has been very lucky. The tax has been approved with few problems but their luck will not last forever. The last thing the Balearics needs at the moment is a backlash against the tourist tax in Britain or Germany. Information is vital and the right information, of course.

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