The Balearic Minister for Tourism, Celesti Alomar, said yesterday that the controversial tourist tax is the “only real alternative” if the region wants to protect its natural resources and the environment, adding that the hoteliers have no real grounds for an argument and that their opposition is a political decision. Alomar said that there are no economic reasons for the hoteliers' rejection of the proposed levy and that the government took the decision to push ahead with introducing the tax because the cabinet believes it is a “fair” policy. The Minister revealed yesterday that an investigation carried out by the government has established that just 15 per cent of tourists coming to the Balearics stay in unregistered accommodation and that a further four per cent, which will be charged the tax, arrive on cruise ships. Alomar said that all that remains to account for is the four per cent of people who have a second residence on the island, as residents will also have to pay the tax when staying at regional hotels and apartments.


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