The Balearic minister for tourism, Biel Barcelo, is behind the tax.

26-10-2015DE

The Balearic government is due to approve the final draft of its law for the sustainable tourism tax at Friday’s cabinet meeting. This final version, to be taken to parliament for approval, shows some changes from the original; these being in response to over forty observations and suggestions from different sources - the island councils, town halls, business associations and other sectors affected by the introduction of the tax.

The main modifications to the original relate to the age of the person paying the tax; to the definition of the starting-point of the main tourism season for the purposes of the tax; to discounts depending on length of stay; and the use of tax revenue in rural areas.

Specifically, the age of exemption for paying the tax is to rise from 14, as set out in the original, to 16 (and this includes 16-year-olds). The government says that this is to not damage family tourism, which has increased notably because of instability in other destinations. This age rise puts the tax on the same footing as Catalonia’s.

The season will now bedefined as starting on 1 May. The original had stated 1 April, but the change has been made, it is said, in order that the Easter period will always be excluded from the full rate of the tax, which will therefore apply from 1 May until the end of October. In the low season - November to April - the tax will be reduced by 50%. There is to now also be a 50% reduction from the tenth day of a stay, reasons for this apparently also being to promote family tourism and longer stays. It might be noted that in Catalonia there is no charge after seven days.

On rural use, there is a shift in emphasis from what the original had to say about recovery and conservation of the environment to financing modernisation of agroforestry.

As to charges, it would seem that three-star and four-star hotel accommodation will attract a rate of 1.5 euros per tourist per day, with two euros being applied to five-star. Cruise ship passengers will be charged one euro, as will apartments for tourist use, if and when these are actually made legal. The government hopes to have the bill passed as soon as possible, with 1 May being the target date for its introduction.

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Steve Riches / Hace over 2 years

Total madness! It is being made up as they go along, a totally flawed concept which will hit this island's income where it really hurts.

+1-

Andrew Ede / Hace over 2 years

Thanks for the various comments. Regarding aparthotels and also the tourist apartments (those with an AT classification and a key rating as opposed to stars), I understand they will be treated just the same as hotels. However, the text of the draft is yet to be made public. Likewise, treatment of villas is unknown. It may all begin to become clear shortly, but I'm afraid lack of clarity has dogged this whole saga, so even once the text is released, there may well still be questions.

+4-

Ron / Hace over 2 years

Sistema molt complicat!! Well - at least those clowns are going for the easy option - so far!! All hotel clients nicely logged in so money for nothing there. Then get everyone at the cruise gangplank - although watch out for crew - as they won't pay. Leave all the villa & apartment rentals alone - their clients are the ones who keep the bars, restaurants, car rentals and supermarkets in business and are sure to be the most annoyed. Not heard yet how they are going to nab the yacht owners. That should be interesting. Best idea of all is to get the hotel companies themselves to pay for everyone of their guests, and forget about penalising all the rest. They are the ones who now charge the highest prices in Spain, raising them whenever they feel like it, increasing their profits to build in the Caribbean. They are responsible for the mass tourism and bad image we have to put up with in summer. They won't miss the money.

+6-

Marilyn Hawkins / Hace over 2 years

How will Aparthotels charge - as apartments or as hotels? A three week stay for two in a 3 star hotel could cost an additional 46.5 euros. I think this will put people off longer stays and hotels will most certainly lose business to apartments, particularly out of high season.

+4-

Mike / Hace over 2 years

Just like oil prices you keep putting the price up and boom it will eventually bite you on the Ass people won't buy it bang even more job losses and the stupid politicians left wondering why that's how thick they are

+7-

Sheila / Hace over 2 years

Who is to collect and pay it over? The hoteliers kept it last time! No mention of villa rentals in the details printed. o

+3-

Steve Riches / Hace over 2 years

Total madness, and getting more complex by the minute. It's like putting up a sign "GO AWAY. WE DON'T WANT YOU HERE". The goose with the golden egg is to be slain.

+11-