Biel Barceló and Catalina Cladera announcing the rise in tourist tax. | @Vicepredidència IB


The worst-kept secret of Balearic government policy has been confirmed. Tourism minister Biel Barceló and finance minister Catalina Cladera have announced that the rate of tourist tax will double next year. This doubling will apply to all types of accommodation, meaning that it will range from one euro per day for hostels and similar to four euros for four-star superior and five-star hotels*.

Barceló offered data to suggest that the tourist tax has not led to a decrease in tourists or in their spending. Hotel occupancy was, on average, 79.1% last year whereas it was 75.6% in 2015 (the tax didn't of course come in until the start of July last year). Figures from the national Turespaña agency point to an on average 6% increase in daily spending per person during the second quarter of this year. Both he and Cladera insisted that the increase was justified because the tax has had great "social acceptance". Moreover, it assists in reversing the environmental impact of tourism.

With the increase, the government anticipates generating 120 million euros revenue next year.

* The overwhelming majority of tourists in hotel accommodation stay in three-star, three-star superior and four-star accommodation. The rate for three star (and also one and two star) will rise to two euros. For three-star superior and four-star the rate will be three euros.

The hotel apartment categories that have key ratings rather than stars will be affected in the same way. So, for example, a three-key establishment will have a tourist tax rate of two euros per day. The cruise ship rate will rise to two euros and will from next year apply to all ships regardless of how short their stopovers are.

The normal holiday rentals' rate of one euro at present will go up to two euros. The rate for agrotourism, rural hotels and interior hotels will also increase from one to two euros. The lowest rate - what will become one euro - will be for hostels of differing kinds, refuges (such as those in the Tramuntana mountains) and campsites.

No statement has been made yet with regard to the 50% discount in the low season. At present, the tax is 50% less between November and April. It is thought that this reduction might be eliminated for April. As for the 50% reduction after eight days, it is understood that this remains unaltered, as do the exemptions for payment, e.g. by under-16s.