Around 140 million euros of tourist tax revenue expected in 2022. | Javier Coll


Decisions regarding the spending of this year's tourist tax revenue are due to be made at the end of September or in early October. They will be made by the commission for sustainable tourism, a body with representation from town halls, business, unions, environmentalist groups and others and also from island councils and government ministries.

The government's estimate is that there will be a total of 138.8 million euros. Its priorities for spending will include housing projects and solutions to the housing emergency, clean energy, sustainable mobility and the circular economy.

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Proposals for tourist tax projects can be made by any of the commission's representatives, but they are typically dominated by those put forward by the government. Under the sustainable tourism tax law, there are six purposes. It is erroneous to refer to the tax as an ecotax, as the environment is only one of the purposes. There is scope for projects designed to address tourism seasonality, but the tax has never been about promotion for the main summer season. Social housing is one of the purposes.

The commission hasn't met since 2019. Tourist tax revenue that there was over the two years of the pandemic was in part diverted to general purposes, while specific projects that benefited from this revenue attracted a good deal of criticism. One was the sponsorship of the Los 40 Music Awards in Palma last November. The government has justified this, pointing to the general economic return it generated.

Reports in recent weeks have highlighted project proposals, one of these having come from the ministry for energy transition - it is for spending to improve energy efficiency by improving front doors and windows.