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So, now holiday resorts across the Mediterranean are jumping on the bandwagon and busy introducing tourist taxes. But there is something rather unsavoury about a tax which is levied on people who are going on holiday. I still believe that tourists pay enough for the privilege of going on holiday to foreign lands. Apart from the actual cost of the holiday then there is their spending in resort. So we are talking big money. A tourist tax is like charging the passenger of a taxi for the tax on the vehicle. It is grossly unfair and also it sends out all the wrong messages.

The Balearic government aims to raise about 80 million euros through the tourist levy, which is an not an enormous sum, but at the same time the levy causes plenty of controversy and could make tourists go elsewhere. I have always thought that the Balearic government would make more money asking for a voluntary contribution from tourists rather than taxing them. Taxing a tourist is an easy way to raise money; after all they can’t vote and of course they disappear after their holiday. But at the same time it is a dangerous game. If there are fewer tourists then resorts will suffer; spending will fall and it could cause problems. My warning to all these provinces in Spain and Greece which have introduced tourist taxes is don’t forget value for money is vital within the industry and there are always other resorts which would like a share of the action. A tax can work but it will always be unpopular.