Government spokesperson, Marc Pons, responded today to criticisms of the tourist tax that had been voiced at the Fitur fair in Madrid by saying that bookings were not suffering at all as a consequence of the tax to be introduced from 1 June. Far from any harm being caused, he noted that indications from Fitur were that it is certain that this coming season will be a very good one.

Pons stressed that the decision to charge the tax was unwavering, adding that its draft legislation was in process and that there would not be any turning back. He stated that the tax was a “strategic commitment” to improve the Balearics as a tourist destination. He also defended President Armengol’s presence at the fair. She attended on Wednesday but has faced criticism from the Partido Popular for not having stayed for what was the Day of the Balearic Islands on Thursday.

Meanwhile, Vice-President Barceló has announced that the regional government would like a new special economic regime (REB) for the Balearics to include tax incentives to allow businesses to stay open in the off-season. “Whatever the new government of Spain, a new REB is vital for the Balearics as through this we will be able to boost and invigorate economic activity and avoid the loss of jobs in the winter.”

Barceló made his remarks following a meeting with the Balearic Confederation of Tourist Business Associations,  adding that he understood the demands emanating from the non-hotel sector that the confederation represents. “But until we have a new REB our hands are tied. It had been promised in 2015 and now the process of forming a new government is delaying it further. The Balearics need a new economic mechanism to stop the loss of money and opportunities that occurs with the passing of time.”

The vice-president noted that both PSOE and Podemos had promised that there would be a new REB during their election campaigns. “We will be paying a great deal of attention to what happens, as this is crucial for our economic, social and labour development.”

Antonio González, the president of the confederation and of the association for tourist attractions, said that he had expressed to Barceló his concerns as to what has been happening in the Balearics over the winter. “We are asking for tax incentives as a palliative for businesses which stay open during the months which are not profitable, cost a lot of money and therefore bring about losses. We want to be able to recover the tourism from November to February, and if the government helps businesses to boost their activities, there will be more jobs. It is important that we have an active and dynamic tourist destination both in the high and the low-season.”

On the tourist tax, González observed that the battle had been lost in preventing its application. “From now, therefore, we have to adopt other criteria and strategies in order to maximise returns in line with the government’s criteria for infrastructure and environmental improvement.”

Antoni Mas, the president of Pimem, the association for smaller businesses, was one business representative to voice support for the tourist tax. “A destination has a price, and as we have opted for more quality rather than quantity, then the tax is necessary. There shouldn’t be growth in the high season as this has a cost for the islands and for quality of life. Moreover, we support the limitations on development that have been recently approved. We have long called for there to be order and control of building developments in rural areas.”


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Ron F / Hace over 5 years

I booked in December for July in Majorca two days after the tourist tax comes into play. Four of us in a four star hotel all over 16 adds another 56 euro to the cost of the holiday. Like others I do feel ripped off and after returning to the same hotel in Alcudia every year I will try somewhere else next time. As for the government saying bookings are up, Thomson haven't even notified us of the tax so bookings wont fall away until people find out!. Had a nice week in Portugal in March, very nice, no tax and cheap!


Doug L / Hace over 5 years

I booked for Majorca as I won't go to Costa Brava as I think the tourist tax is a rip off. After all, I spend a fortune when I'm on holiday. Well, congratulations, you will get your extra little bit of cash off me this year but next year I will not be going back. Other destinations are available!


Craig / Hace over 5 years

What a con, travel agent must have know about this when we booked for Ibiza last year, like Adrian got an email this morning, first we knew about it. We haven't been abroad in over ten years, certainly won't be going there again, as if we don't get taxed enough already ....

Yet another stealth tax, this time from afar. I'm sure travel agents will include this charge in there prices in the future, and will probably make up some crazy admin fee and add 10% to line their own pockets ....


Adrian Russell / Hace over 5 years

I have just been notified by my travel agent here in the UK. We always go to the Balearics and spend a lot of money whilst we are there for 2 weeks. We have no choice this year as we have already booked - but next year (and every year) we will go somewhere else. If you rely on tourism for your economy, taxing tourist is about as stupid as you can get.


Steve Riches / Hace over 5 years

The mentally challenged politicians are chortling that bookings are up, thus seeing it as a vindication of the tourist tax. In fact nobody outside Mallorca knows anything about it. The key issue is summed up on page 2 of yesterday's Sunday Times travel section:- "Holidays in the Med filling up as travellers play it safe".


Steve Riches / Hace over 5 years

The tourist tax story hasn't even broken yet in the UK. The negative effects of it may be mitigated by the effects of terrorism elsewhere and by the relative strength of Sterling, but this tax is going to turn round and bite the idiots who want it in place. I predict that the cost of collecting it, and the cost of the inevitable fraud when it is spirited away, will end up totalling more than it actually makes. What a duff welcome for tourists to this lovely island. Word will spread after this summer's tourist season. What we need is no tourist tax, but happy visitors spending money freely here, which will then indirectly increase the level of income tax from happy bar owners, hoteliers, restauranteurs and attraction entrepreneurs. If you steal that money directly from people's wallets they will resent it deeply, and it will not be spent locally..


Steve Pickering / Hace over 5 years

As has been said by others, the British public still have no idea about the tax. My daughter asked the travel agent just recently about a tax, and was told they'd not heard about any 'NEW' tax in Majorca !!


Daver / Hace over 5 years

I'm presuming that how the tax will be collected is still undecided. When will the tourist tax be revealed to the general public of the UK. Oh of course. As soon as the hotels are fully booked. How silly of me.


Ian Morrison / Hace over 5 years

How stupid are the Government in saying bookings are not affected by the Tourist Tax ... the tourists don't know about it YET - it will be a different story next year.


Mike / Hace over 5 years

The only reason bookings are good for Mallorca at this point in time is that people are not going anywhere that is under threat from terrorism no other ! and the fact that holiday makers are not being told by travel agents that they will be taxed when they arrive Majorca and its people will return to harder times when tourist realise and go elsewhere