Tourists in Majorca and the Balearics should mostly now know about the introduction of the tourist tax on 1 July. | Gemma Andreu

With the introduction of the tourist tax only a week away, it might seem peculiar that the Balearic government only yesterday gave the legislation for the tax its final approval. This was, though, a usual procedure prior to legislation coming into force, as government bills are sent to the Consultative Council legal body for ratification or any alterations. There has been one change and that, as previously reported, is the application of the tax to rental accommodation that is not regulated. The government was informed that it could not apply a charge on this type of accommodation and accepted the change to the legislation.

The tax comes in on 1 July and will be charged for hotels as follows: two euros per person per day for five-star and four-star superior; one euro fifty for four-star and three-star superior; one euro for three-star and below. A 50% reduction applies after the eighth day, under-16s are not charged and there is also a 50% reduction in low season (November to April). The government anticipates generating revenues of 40 to 50 million euros this year and between 60 and 70 million in 2017.

Announcing the final approval, finance minister Catalina Cladera said that the tax would be a means of wealth redistribution for the conservation of the environment and preservation of heritage. Among the planned uses of the revenue are to be projects for environmental, agricultural and marine conservation and the rehabilitation of historical and cultural heritage.

Tourism minister Biel Barceló spoke about the commission that will oversee the allocation of revenue, saying that it is due to be established in September. Proposals for environmental improvement can then be submitted, meaning that some could be approved by the end of the year and projects started in 2017.

The government is conducting an information campaign in the Balearics and overseas, while hotels will have information in different languages.

Barceló said that it was normal for there to be a tourist tax as there are taxes charged in many other destinations where "nothing happens", by which he meant that there is no harmful impact. He stressed that tour operators have known about the tax for some while and have been able to inform clients. He considered the possibility of a tourist refusing to pay to be an "anecdotal case", saying that it would be like going to a car repair garage and not wanting to pay IVA (VAT).