The Balearic government was yesterday accused of being “disloyal” over its decision to try and go ahead with implementing the tourist tax and ignoring widespread opposition from the hoteliers and the tourist sector. The vice-president of the Majorcan Hoteliers Federation, Ignasi Esteve, addressing delegates at a tourism conference, expressed his doubts that the government will be able to introduce the tax with the tourist industry opposing the idea and added that his members feel “cheated.” While nobody disagrees with the principle of obtaining extra funds for the protection, improvement, and management of the environment, few organisations approve of the tourist tax. Esteve said that the government should cut its losses and start again from zero, and in doing so, will be able to count on the support of the hoteliers in a bid to ensure extra funding from Madrid - a solution favoured by many of the opponents to the tourist tax. The Secretary General for Tourism, Julio López Astor, said the tourist tax “is neither the best solution nor the most useful and that it will be very difficult to collect.” Astor warned that the tourist tax infringes on European Union directives and highlighted the fact that European Union tourists are already paying taxes on their holidays and flights. He warned that the government is “playing with fire” with the Balearic model and said that the tourist market is very “sensitive to these types of taxes, that the balance is very fragile, and the Balearics run the risk of losing a large part of its economy.”


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