Representatives of the Majorca Hoteliers Federation (FEHM) and the Balearic Association of Hotel Chains (ACB) have returned from London's World Travel Market with the intention of trying to get the government to drop the tourist tax or to at least reduce the rate as it applies between May and October.
The hoteliers have of course always been opposed to the tax, but they are now particularly concerned about its impact given the changed circumstances of the European holiday market. Maria Frontera, the president of FEHM, says that the situation has changed significantly. The tax came in at a time when the Balearics were gaining tourists for geopolitical reasons. These no longer apply. "British and German families are very price-sensitive. With the discounting in Turkey and Egypt they will opt to go to destinations where there is no similar tax and the prices of package holidays are cheaper."
The cost for ten nights at a hotel in Turkey can typically be up to 40% lower than in the Balearics. Frontera and Gabriel Llobera, the president of the ACB, also question how the tax is being used, such as with funding for the building of social housing.
As has been well reported previously, the altered situation in the market means that hotels, especially the smaller ones, are coming under pressure from tour operators to cut their prices. This is being reflected in prices for 2019, with reductions of up to six per cent.