The sustainable tourism tax was an item on parliament’s agenda today, the Majorca Hoteliers Federation having taken the politicians by surprise with its announcement on Monday that its members apparently intend to bear the cost of the tax for this year.
The spokesperson for Podemos, Laura Camargo, was one who expressed her surprise at the move, adding that the hoteliers now appeared to be showing so much solidarity that they were willing to pay it themselves, when they had been the ones creating job insecurity for workers in the hotel sector. Podemos representatives were observing that the federation had seemed incapable of accepting a situation (with the tax) that operates in many other countries. The party anticipates presenting amendments to the bill for the tax, though it very much doubted that they would be the same as those that the Partido Popular would be proposing.
On this, the PP parliamentary deputy, Alvaro Gijón, presented five amendments to the bill, saying that they would have wide parliamentary support as well as backing from the hotel sector and the general public. Specifically, the PP proposed that the introduction of the tax should be delayed until 2017 and that it should not be levied in the low season. In addition, Gijón argued that all the revenue raised by the tax should go directly towards tourism, observing that other targets for the revenue as listed in the draft bill were not well understood by the public. The PP also pressed the need for the tax to be paid by tourists not staying in hotels whose total number equates to some 40% of tourists who come to the Balearics. Finally, Gijón proposed that cruise-ship passengers should be exempt, given that on average they only spend a few hours here.