Tourists staying in unregulated holiday accommodation will not be paying the tourist tax.

29-05-2016Javier Coll

The consultative council, the legal body that checks on regional government legislation, has been looking at the text of the law for the sustainable tourism tax. The council broadly accepts the law's content but has pointed to certain caveats that need to be addressed before the government's cabinet can definitively ratify the law on 23 June prior to the tax being introduced on 1 July.

The finance minister, Catalina Cladera, says that the government is satisfied that the council has validated the regulation and that it will abide by a ruling of the council in respect of "collaborative" accommodation. By this, she means properties being marketed via websites such as Airbnb. The council has told the government that this type of accommodation, which is not regulated, is beyond the scope of the law and so therefore is not liable for the tax to be charged.

Cladera adds that the government will be amending the tourism law as soon as possible in order that there is regulation of accommodation of all types. This is the legislation on holiday rentals that the government plans on introducing next year.

The various "collaborative" websites - Airbnb, Homeaway and others - currently offer some 80,000 properties in the Balearics: 20,000 more than was the case in 2015. The complexity of bringing this type of accommodation within the ambit of legislation is one reason why it is taking the government rather longer than it might have hoped in introducing its new regulations.


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Ron / Hace over 5 years

Thank you Andrew. So that'll be it then. Nothing will ever be done!!


Steve / Hace over 5 years

Any sane person must know that a "tourist tax" in whatever form, is a flawed concept. It does not go down well, whatever you call it. Visitors to the island don't give a hoot about what it costs to maintain the island's infrastructure, it's not their problem. Nor should it be.


Sean Dobson / Hace over 5 years

Nothing like shooting yourself in the foot,is there.?


Andrew Ede / Hace over 5 years

Re charging the tourist tax at airports and the ports ... The three Balearic airports (plus the ports of Palma, Mahon, Ibiza and Alcudia and La Savina) are, regardless of the partial privatisation of the airports' authority, state property, which fall under control of the national ministry of development. The regional government has raised the matter with Madrid, as it would have to give permission. It's not about to. This is the principal reason why it is not being collected this way.


Beh / Hace over 5 years

Agreed Ron. Many caribbean countries already have this tourist tax applied at the airports and even $10-$20 USD, frankly I've never see anyone complain about it. It's easy and inexpensive to collect and it will even out the playing field between hotels and holiday rentals.

There shouldn't be anything illegal about it. There are certain special "taxes" that you're charged in many European cities already - unless like you said Ron, this is something that contravenes Spanish lasws specifically rather than European ones.


Ron / Hace over 5 years

Once again I am commenting on the tourist tax (and I apologise to my blogging colleagues for boring them yet again!) BUT this tourist tax in it's present form will be unworkable, extremely unpopular and damaging to everyone here. I know it has all been approved but laws here change in retrospect all the time! Of course collecting money from the hotels and cruises will be as easy as taking candy from a baby. For every other type of accommodation e.g. villas, fincas, flats, apartments, townhouses, 2nd home owners & their friends, tents, boats etc. - 'illegal, outside of the law and in need of control' according to this government, the mechanism needed to enforce those to collect tax from their visitors will need bureaocracy at a level never seen before. It was unworkable before, and will be again. Creating jobs for inspectors will be this government's way of reducing the unemployment figures. We've all seen that happen in UK with socialist governments. So I suggest that if all those owners etc. have to be unpaid tax collectors, they will have to have labour contracts and be paid to do this, - otherwise another EU law will be broken. Even legitimate villa agencies never have an actual list of who stays in their contracted villas - ages, no. of days each person stays (some come, some go!) etc. etc. And charging our residents to stay in hotels will only alienate those they are trying to convince!

I know it has been mentioned many times but WHY can't this ecotax be collected at the airport or at the ferry port? After all we live on an island - should be easy. All I read is that this method is illegal. Who says? Central government or Brussels? If it is the former then our new government to be can make the new law and apply it. Their politicians are promising us everything now! If it's the EU then that just shows why member countries are powerless and unable to adapt the laws to suit their circumstances. For the very reason that most Britons want out. I suggest a €1 entry tax on every passenger arriving on our islands (39 million arrivals at our airport alone expected this summer). Add all the other islands and ferries, cruises, private yachts etc. and even Sr. Barceló will be shocked at the revenue generated from this. (Nobody will object to paying €1 towards controlling the environment and keeping tourism sustainable.) And there may even be some left over for the care homes he wants!!