Balearic government announces details of the new levy.

Political reaction to the official announcement of the tourist tax on Wednesday has been as would have been expected. The Partido Popular’s parliamentary spokesperson, Marga Prohens, said that "with the imposition of the eco-tax, the message that the parties of the left want to give is that they don’t want as many tourists coming to the Balearics". "For these parties," she continued, “tourism is something that has a pernicious effect and is a source of labour exploitation. For them, a tourist is not a friend, he or she is someone who is a nuisance".  

Jaume Font, the leader of El Pi, while not in favour of the tax, accepted that because of the under-funding of the Balearics by central government, the tax was “interesting.” He did, though, warn the regional government, as he has previously, to “not make a TIL of tourism.” By this, he means that it should not become an issue that is as explosively divisive as the PP’s TIL trilingual teaching policy was.

Further to business reactions that we reported yesterday, Inma de Benito, the president of the Majorca Hoteliers Federation, says that she doesn’t believe that the tax will have an immediate harmful effect because of the current “sweet spot” in which the tourism industry finds itself that will therefore not mean a sudden loss of tourists. However, she is of the view that in the medium term the tax will be harmful in curbing investment and reducing the competitiveness of the Balearic economy.

In Minorca, the hotelier reaction is one of wanting to fully study the draft that the government has come up with, but the president of the federation there, in addition to what he has already said about the unknown damage that the tax could cause, suggests that “it could sink us.” In Ibiza and Formentera, Manuel Sendino agrees with Benito that there may not be any immediate effect, but in the medium-term he believes there will be a reduction in the number of tourists, especially among those who are the most price-sensitive.