“The tourist tax was introduced to ease the environmental footprint of mass tourism not for rock concerts...” | MDB files


The Balearic government have entered dangerous territory which threatens to push its flagship policy, the tourist tax, into the spotlight. The tax was introduced to ease the environmental footprint caused by mass tourism. It was also said that the money raised through the levy would be used to improve holiday resorts.

The majority of holidaymakers were willing to give the government the benefit of the doubt and the tax was introduced with little or no fuss. But since its introduction some tourists and some members of the international travel industry have questioned how the money is being spent.

The government announced earlier this month that tourist tax cash was being used to help fight Covid and then it was announced that some of the money would be spent on organising a music festival at Palma Arena, with Ed Sheeran being one of the stars of the show.

Hoteliers and the business community, who are opposed to the levy, reacted furiously. The opposition Partido Popular have called for it to be scrapped and the government are under fire and to be honest the hoteliers are not wrong. This was an environmental levy to help the tourist industry and to some extent visiting tourists.

What you can't do is now start spending the cash on other things especially if they are directly unrelated to the tourist industry. The local government should learn their mistake and not do it again. Tourist tax cash for tourism, not anything else. In these difficult times we should be pondering shelving the surcharge not spending the cash on issues completely unrelated to tourism.