One of the most respected people in the Spanish tourist industry, and one time Balearic Minister for Tourism, Eduardo Gamero, speaking in his capacity as the President of the Spanish Institute for Hotel Quality, yesterday slammed the proposed tourist tax, saying that the Balearic tourist sector “opposes” the levy and that the extra costs of between one and four Euros per person, per day will have a negative effect on tourism. Gamero, who has spoken out against the tourist tax before, said that the tourist industry is “clearly against the introduction of any form of tax, but even more so against the kind of tax which has been designed in the Balearics. It is not only unfair, it is not a recommended practice.” The Balearic parliament is expected to open a debate on the tourist tax shortly and the local government's aim is to introduce the levy in time for high season 2001. However Gamero is sceptical about whether the tax will become a reality. “Let's see if it is introduced or not,” he said. Gamero added that the tax will have a number of extremely negative consequences for the Balearics because it prevents the Balearics from being as competitive with other mainland destinations, never mind foreign resorts. Gamero fears that the tax will discriminate the region's tourist industry. Gamero is also president of the National Committee for Commercial and Tourism studies and has done his homework. He warned yesterday that the tourist tax will be a massive mistake. “Its effects will be negative in every aspect,” Gamero added.