The Balearic tourist industry is concerned. There are fears of a big fall in tourism this season as a result of Brexit and the threat of yet more competition from resorts in Turkey and North Africa. Are they right to be worried? Well, of course and the Balearic government should also be concerned.
The Balearic hoteliers are calling for the controversial tourist tax to be scrapped. I don´t think this is a good idea because it sends out the wrong message and underlines the fact that the industry is in a panic. I would suggest reducing the rate rather than scrapping it completely. What the Balearics can´t do is introduce a tourist tax then scrap it everytime there is a change in government. Tourists will quite rightly wonder whether the local tourist industry is serious.
Overall, the tourist tax has been a success although I think the money from the levy should be spent on the tourist industry rather than being diverted to other projects which are completly unrelated to the holiday industry. The Balearics took a stand, introduced the tax, and now they must stick with it. Yes, when the levy was introduced the island´s principal industry was in good shape but now things have changed. Turkey and North Africa are back and want a share of the local tourist market. The industry needs to hold its nerve and I think it is a question of keep calm and carry on. It could be just pre-season nerves but there are some major fears within the industry.