THE introduction of a tourist tax in the Balearics moved a step further towards becoming reality yesterday with the Secretary of State for Tourism, Elena Pisonero, confirming that the department will begin lobbying the Ministry for Development with regards to the tourist tax being collected at Balearic airports by the Spanish airport authority AENA. The Sectreaty of State was in Palma yesterday for talks with the Balearic Tourism Minister Celestí Alomar and said, “While we (central and the Balearic governments) will not be sharing the tax, we are going to work together in order to ensure that the tourist tax is introduced.” The Secretary of State also said that as soon as AENA make their position clear and agree to collect the tax, work will start on finalising the small print and how the tax can be most efficiently and easily introduced. Elena Pisonero said that central government respects the decision taken by the Balearic government to introduce the tax in order to raise extra funds for the protection and management of the environment, towards which all the money raised by the “eco-tax” will be destined. A pilot scheme is to be introduced in Minorca this summer, which will mean the British, who dominate the island's tourist industry, being the majority “guinea pigs” for the new scheme. However the idea of a tourist tax is nothing new with regards to other popular tourists destinations, particularly islands, elswhere in the world.