The tourist tax is a big gamble, probably the greatest ever taken by the tourist industry. I suspect that most people will pay without too much fuss but they also want to know that their money is being well spent. What is needed from the local authorities is plenty of information on all the projects which are being financed thanks to the tax, otherwise I am sure that the whole issue will blow up in their faces. We can't have a repeat of the complete lack of information which has heralded the introduction of the tax. Tourists will want to know that their money is not being squandered on pointless projects which are of little use to anyone. May 1 will be an important day in the Balearic calendar, let's just hope that it marks the start of a new era and not a continuation of years of decline.
And continuing with the May Day blues, I witnessed this week the depressing sight of some of London's famous shops and hotels boarding up their windows ahead of the May Day anti-capitalist demonstration. I just feel that it is a great shame how May 1 has been hijacked by a group of mindless anarchists who have no real agenda but to cause mayhem and hurt private businesses. I just cannot understand how breaking shop windows etc can be described as serving a cause. There are some nasty sides to capitalism but going on the rampage is not the way forward. Let us have a return to the May Day of old of peaceful protests and of workers rights. I just can't understand how a few hundred people can hold the world's cities to ransom with a cause which few people really understand.
More about the tourist tax
Regarding the ecotax, surely it is about time that someone said clearly what is happening. This is a tax levied on the hotel based on occupancy. It is not a tax on the tourist and the government is sending a smokescreen on this point. The hotelier will have to pay, based on his occupancy, regardless of whether he is able to pass the tax on to the client. Given that 95 per cent of all tourists staying at hotels or officially recognised apartments (hereinafter tourist accommodation) arrive via a tour operator on a fully inclusive tour basis, the problem facing the hotel is how he can pass this on to anyone. The Antich government have refused to even look at this problem. The holidaymaker in most cases will not pay anything to the hotel as he is on a fully inclusive tour (FIT). It is therefore not so simple to add the ecotax to his bill as he might not have a bill at all. The tour operator may well refuse to accept any addition to his agreed price for his client (the holidaymaker), and the hotelier is faced with this problem. Regardless, he cannot escape payment to the local Government. What is to my mind totally unacceptable is that the Antich government are still unable to say what they are going to do with the income from the ecotax. In other words they are collecting a tax under the green banner without saying what they are going to do with the resultant 60'000 million pesetas. Before they even start the Farmers Union is demanding at least fifty percent of the income alleging that they look after the countryside and the landscape. This despite the fact that they are responsible for all of the detritus that one sees in the countryside. The tourists do not dump old cars, fridges, mattresses, rubbish etc in the countryside the locals do. Very few tourists will pay anything towards this iniquitous tax, even those who agree with the principle. This should be a tax levied, if necessary, through the whole of Spain, not just by this gang that we have to put up with in Majorca.
I 've just monitored the situation and spoken to customers about the tourist tax since it began, most don't seem to mind but we're more interested to know where the extra funds will be going. Will the Bulletin be showing a list of accounts? If not, where can one obtain a copy of these figures?