Perhaps the Balearic government could use the swift end to the summer season to focus on the future of the controversial tourist tax. I think if anyone needed a reminder about the importance of tourism to the islands then they just have to look at the dire state of the local economy at the moment. I know everyone is convinced that everything will be back to normal for next year...but I am not convinced.
The Balearics will need every tourist it can get next year and competing resorts will be in the same boat. It is vital that the islands are competitive and therefore I think the local authorities should scrap the tax until times improve. It was always going to be controversial; getting tourists to pay a surcharge on top of their holiday and then what they spend in resort. But in the good times tourists were willing to pay it... but now times are hard and the islands need tourists.
By scrapping the tax the islands would send out exactly the right message to would-be holidaymakers. It would also make them feel welcome. The amount of cash raised by this surcharge is very small compared to what tourism generates for the local economy. But it was introduced for political reasons at a time when the islands were at the top of the holiday wish list. But that was then and this is now.
As I have said on many occasions in this space, the local authorities need to start planning for the new holiday season and I don't think the tourist tax should be in their plans.
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