Things were normal enough at Alcudia hotels on the first day of the tourist tax.

01-07-2016Andrew Ede

After all the talk, the tourist tax came in today and did so with barely a whimper. Social media had let us know that there are tourists who intend refusing to pay. There was no evidence of that today and nor has there been for around a couple of weeks.

At Club Mac, one of Alcudia's largest hotel complexes (over 2,000 places), the word was that everything has gone off smoothly. The hotel had in fact already been charging guests who had arrived before yesterday: those whose stays would include 1 July and beyond, that is. No complaints, no resistance. There was plenty of praise for the tour operators, who have given out information well in advance to their clients. There has been little or no surprise at being asked to pay.

At Alcudia's largest complex, Bellevue (5,000 or more guests), the story was much the same. There were no issues.

Hotels in the main tourism zone of the resort appear to all have adopted the same process: payment on arrival, either with a credit card or cash. There is slight anxiety regarding some clients who might simply arrive without spare money. It can happen with some all-inclusive clients. But as the advance notice has been effective, even this anxiety is minimal. There was also a concern that payment on arrival might slow down the checking-in process. For large hotels with high influxes of guests at given times, this may well be the case.

Not all clients are aware of the tax, however. On Thursday, a British couple, staying in a regulated tourist apartments establishment in Alcudia, said they didn't know anything about the tax. They had arrived the night before and will stay for a week. They added that no one at the apartments had yet told them they had to pay.

From hearing what tourists say, it would seem that issues are more likely to arise with those who have travelled independently and made bookings with, say, hotel places websites. These may or may not have been informing clients about the tax. One certainly has not.

Reactions to the tax from tourists are generally relaxed, given that most have known about it. Using the medium of a local Brit bar to sound people out, there was a pretty unanimous view that they would rather not have to pay the tax, but they were resigned to doing so. There were no expressions of never coming back because of the tax, though there was scepticism regarding the use of tax revenue. "Helping the environment is ok, but is that what will happen? Just become another tax, won't it." Conservation of the environment, preservation of heritage and other purposes for the tax were met with general indifference and even some opposition: "why should tourists pay for it?"

Away from the hotels, leading villa operators in the area seem to have adopted a policy of absorbing the tax: for this year at any rate. There are logistical issues for villa agencies in tax collection, and these are not to the convenience of clients. In the name of customer service, therefore, that convenience is being prioritised.

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John Mac / Hace over 5 years

Well I hope they can find a bit of beach to sit on, As it looks like the hotels can now claim a part off the beach and make you pay to use that area. I wonder who is taking the money for this, or is this more of the tourist tax...

+-1-

David / Hace over 5 years

I've been going to Majorca for over 30 years. I've ensured that I take time to give tips on and in every establishment based on welcome and service, my way of saying "Thank You". This year we see the "Tax" - My simple solutions this year s - tips Nil - Tax paid. Simple. In addition the Hotel chains have had their 2017 cost meetings and we're going to see anywhere from 10 to 15% increase next year. Majorca has benefited this year (like the rest of the spanish resorts) from the political issues and dangers in Turkey, Egypt and financial problems of Greece. Other countries are now chasing the tourists especially the UK tourists and are already looking more affordable with similar facilities.

+5-

Danny Stevens / Hace over 5 years

I have travelled all over Majorca and seen what a beautiful island it is. A beauty that has been created by tourism.Majorcas economy is based entirely on tourism. Now I am being told I must pay a tourism tax for the conservation of the environment and the preservation of heritage. Rubbish. What the government of Majorca ( and Ibiza ) have seen is that people are not travelling to turkey, north Africa etc. for obvious reasons.They have decided this is a great opportunity to cash in on peoples fears . Well, I was just in the process of booking a weeks holiday to Majorca in September but am now having second thoughts. Perhaps it may be better if I didn't visit. After all I wouldn't want to cause any more damage to an island I love.

+5-

Steve / Hace over 5 years

U.K. Is also introducing a Tourist pay for your treatment on the nhs tax pay at point of entry £10 per day and if you need to use the nhs we require your credit card and passport which will be returned when you pay your bill in full

+5-

STAN JESSOP / Hace over 5 years

Now the exchange rate has crashed. The sooner this Tourist Tax is SCRAPPED, the better for Mallorca. However, Great Britain is to follow suit with a Visitors Tax. That will be as equally welcome on Arrival and /or Departure. Collected as other Countries do, e.g.Bankok etc.

+5-

Sally / Hace over 5 years

When the tourist tax came in years ago, the hotels would keep guests passports and would not return them until the tax was paid. Causing a lot of angry guests at the end of there holidays. Also this year the large hotel chains are paying the tax to avoid the bad publicity. It will be a disaster.

+2-

holidaymaker / Hace over 5 years

Living in England and speaking to people who had already booked holidays before hearing about tax they realise they are going to have to pay and were going to pay without spoiling their holiday . ..but next year ?

+6-