The Balearic tourist tax will range from 0.50 euros to two euros depending on the type of accommodation.
The draft of the law that will introduce the tax was presented this morning at the Consolat de Mar presidential headquarters in Palma by President Armengol, Vice-President Barceló, who is also the minister for tourism, and the regional finance minister, Catalina Cladera. Described as a "tax for sustainable tourism", it will be applied to stays in hotels, apartments, rural tourism establishments, hostels and other types of accommodation, as well as to cruise-ship passengers.
The charge of between 50 cents and two euros will be, according to the announcement, per person, per day and stay, and there is to be a further variation according to season, with a 50% reduction anticipated for the low season. Children below the age of fourteen will be exempt, but residents will have to pay it if they stay in tourist accommodation; those who need to do so for health reasons will have the potential to reclaim the tax.
Barceló says that the anticipated revenue from the tax will be between 50 and 80 million euros per annum. This income is to be allocated to a wide range of possibilities, centred, says Armengol, on “improving the tourist offer in the islands” and on promotion. According to Barceló, the main objective of the tax will be environmental conservation and historical and cultural preservation.
In fact, a whole raft of purposes have been announced in addition to these: tackling seasonality and creating tourist products; sustainable tourism-related infrastructure; the promotion of scientific research and technological development and innovation which contribute to the diversification of the economy or are related to tourism; the improvement of training and the quality of employment in the tourism sector. The government is to establish a joint commission to decide for sure how the revenue will be spent, and the tax itself is set to be approved in 2016.
With the presentation of the draft, the government will now also open a debate with the tourism sector and with wider society.