Tourist tax
It is twelve years since the old eco-tax was scrapped in the Balearics, but its return has been touted by different political parties.
Més has indicated that it would be in favour, while PSOE has intimated that it might reintroduce a tax if it were to form part of a new government.
Yesterday, we highlighted the thinking of Podemos on the subject.
At the launch of its manifesto for the local election, its leader Alberto Jarabo spoke of the possibility of there being a tax of between one and two euros that would be paid on arrival or departure at airports or which might be added to the price of air tickets.
Podemos is non-commital, though, as it was “still examining the economic implications (of such a tax) and also whether the general public would support such a move”.
Jason Moore considered the idea of a tax to be “complete madness” as it would be levied on “our only source of revenue”, i.e. tourists.
By coincidence, Friday’s Week in Tourism column looked at this very issue, Andrew Ede reporting on Catalonia’s experience with its tourist tax that raises some 40 million euros a year in revenue and which, according to a one-time sceptic, the head of the region’s travel agencies, has not affected tourism, adding that a similar tax in the Balearics “need not have the negative consequences that many believe that it would”.

A true number of British residents?
How many British (and foreign) residents really are there in Majorca? This is a question that has been asked many times over the years, and Jason Moore raised it again by noting the difference between the official figure of British residents in the Balearics (around 17,000) and the often claimed higher estimate of 50,000.
Foreign residents, Jason noted, drop off official registers because “they want to disappear off the radar” while many simply don’t bother registering with their local town halls.
The background to this was a report on Wednesday regarding population statistics across Spain.
It revealed that the Balearics has the highest percentage of foreign residents among all the regions of the country: 17.4%. But this is the just official figure.

Oranges and cocktails - their history
Fairs in Majorca are currently in full swing, and one fair that has already been held is the Orange Fair in Soller.
In their Spotlight on Soller feature on Tuesday, Shirley Roberts and Rachel Fox considered the “mighty Soller orange” and the historical background to the orange industry in the town.
They noted that orange tasting menu special day trips from Palma will still be available until 3 May.
The Bulletin is lucky to have its resident historians - Andy Rawson and Miquel Ferrà i Martorell - but there is a great deal of island history lurking on other pages: Shirley and Rachel’s look at the Soller orange is just one example.
A regular and perhaps unexpected source of this history is Charles Harrington-Clarke’s Sunday Spiritual Adviser column.
Cocktail mixer Charles always gives some background to the cocktails he introduces to us, and last Sunday’s was of particular interest, as it was “El Mallorquín”, a creation that takes its name from the eponymous steam ship of the nineteenth century and which was inspired by a visit to the Majorcan brandy producer Bodegas Suau, which was founded by the commander of that very ship.

The unexpected
Something else that might have been unexpected was the news of a new nature reserve in Magalluf. Here, for once, was a very different look at the resort, and Michael Montier, in his always highly informative Wild Majorca column on Thursday, reported on plans for “a new wetland which will be managed and will provide a safe haven for local wildlife”.
We should by now be used to major celebrities turning up in Majorca. Even so, when they do, their appearance does have a quality of the unexpected (probably because they don’t announce their appearance in advance).
So, there was great excitement when Lewis Hamilton drove “into Majorca in style”, as we reported on Friday.
The Formula One world champion, photographed in Soller, was on the island to film an advertisement for Mercedes.


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