The Hannover Expo and the European Championship may well have been the cause for the drop in German tourists to the Balearics, especially Majorca this summer, but according to the Minister for Tourism for Andalucia, Jose Hurtado, what has had the most damaging affect on the Balearics' image in Germany has been the tourist tax. Hurtado, who has recently been in Germany to visit the Hannover Expo, said yesterday that the negative reaction to the Balearic tourist tax in Germany has made his government think again about introducing a similar tax and has also taught him and his colleagues an important lesson about how the debate should be handled. The reaction to the Balearic tourist tax is two-fold. Apparently it is not just that tourists, not only in Germany but across Europe, hate the thought of having to pay even more taxes, but in Germany, a country which is extremely environmentally conscious it has made people think that the Balearics is an eco-disaster; hence the need for the tax. According to Hurtado, the proposed tax in the Balearics has also left potential first-time visitors to the islands wondering why they should pay for the damage caused by their predecessors.

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