10

There have been rumours circulating that IVA (VAT) would be charged on the tax, as it is in Catalonia, and the Bulletin can confirm today that the rumours are true.

All visitors and residents staying in holiday accommodation or a cruise ship in the Balearics will be charged between fifty cents and two euros per night, depending on the category of the accommodation and the length of stay. In the low season, 1 November to 30 April, only 50 per cent of the rates will be charged and children under the age of 16 are exempt from the tax, while longer-term guests will be entitled to a 50 per cent discount from the ninth day of their stay.

In the letter, published in Castilian, English and German and issued by the ministry for tourism, it states that the "purpose of the tax for sustainable tourism is the compensation of the so-called carbon footprint caused by the tourist activity on the island".

"By paying the new tax, both foreign visitors and locals who stay in a tourist accommodation in the Balearics will contribute to the preservation of the islands. The revenue raised from the tax will be invested entirely in projects with specific purposes defined by the law, such as environmental protection and conservation, the extension of the tourist season and the development of specific tourism projects for the low season, the promotion of sustainable tourism, the restoration of cultural heritage and the improvement of tourism training."

A special commission for the promotion of sustainable tourism is going to be set up to decide which project proposals receive tourist tax funding and to ensure maximum social consensus. The commission will include representatives from different local administrations, business associations, trade unions and environmental protection bodies.

A new website is going to launched to provide maximum clarity and detailed information about how the estimated 80 million euros raised per year by the tourist tax is spent.

Due to its late introduction, only 50 million euros is going to be collected this year, and of course, 10 per cent more is going to be in VAT.