According to Javier Vich, the president of the Palma and Cala Major Hoteliers Association, the 100% increase in the tourist tax as from Tuesday took tourists by surprise. "The tourists had no kind of information about the increase in the rates, which was why they were surprised."
Receptionists and hotel directors had to explain the new charges to guests, and many repeat clients couldn't understand the reason for the increase. Vich suggests that the surprise turned to indignation in one instance, with a group of guests refusing to pay the tax. The hotel, it would seem, assumed the cost.
Although other tourists paid, some indicated that they would weigh up the cost of a family holiday and consider going somewhere else. "It is a very significant increase, more so when one takes account of prices in competitor destinations," notes Vich.
President Armengol, meanwhile, was saying that the sustainable tourism tax (to give the tax its official title) is being paid without fuss, that it has "great social support" and is not generating problems for tourists. She gave a reminder that the tax is creating a fund for improving the quality of the environment in the Balearics and that the increase took account of the "reality of our tourism market".
While it may be the case that some tourists have been taken by surprise, this will not have been because of a lack of media attention given to the tax increase. An issue may be how well accommodation providers, tour operators, regular travel agencies and online travel agencies are giving advance information about the tax - the fact that there is one and that the rates have doubled.
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