Albufera, where a tourist tax project is outstanding. | Xesca Serra

Tourism minister Bel Busquets said in parliament yesterday that she believed that there should be pride in the tourist tax and in the fact that it has been well accepted. The sustainable tourism tax, she stressed, "is here to stay" in responding to questions from the Ciudadanos spokesperson Xavier Pericay.

The tax, Busquets went on, "guarantees" the undertaking of some 150 projects with the 200 million euros revenue since its introduction. It is important that this revenue "improves" the Balearics as a tourist destination, conserves the environment and natural assets, protects culture, helps to diversify the economy and contributes to social policies.

Pericay criticised the delay in starting projects. Certain ones have yet to begin, and he drew attention to the mapping of posidonia sea grass, the nautical industry vocational training centre on the Son Castello estate in Palma, and drainage of water at Albufera.

"All of these projects are so far at zero, and that is the theme" with the majority of tourist tax projects. Pericay also condemned a lack of government transparency regarding the realisation of projects. After two and a half years, he observed, "they have not borne fruit".