Worries about the impact another tourist tax with have on British tourism. | Majorca Daily Bulletin reporter


The Spanish Tourism Board has expressed its concern over the creation of a new tourist tax for non-EU visitors entering the Schengen Area, with a special impact for Spain in terms of British tourism, the country’s main outbound market.

The business organisation that represents different Spanish tourism sectors held its first General Assembly of the year this week, during which it analysed the situation in the sector and addressed two significant concerns for the competitiveness of Spain as a tourist destination.

The first of these warnings is Lufthansa’s bid to convert Rome Fiumicino airport into its new hub for intercontinental routes to Asia, America and Africa.

This move would “undermine” the Madrid Barajas hub, which currently concentrates air traffic to Latin America, and would consequently “diminish the relevance of the Spain brand”.

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As for the second concern, the General Assembly of the Bureau has expressed its concern about the creation of a new tourist tax for non-EU visitors entering the Schengen Area.

The European Union could start applying this tax from November, under the name of the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS), and it would entail the payment of 7 euros per non-EU tourist.

The Tourism Board is particularly concerned about the impact of this tax on British tourism, “our main outbound market with 18 million arrivals in 2019”.

It should also be borne in mind that the measure, should it go ahead, will be added to the other local tourist taxes that tourists are already paying for visiting certain Spanish destinations likes the Balearics.

“We are issuing a warning in relation to these two issues that seem to be going unnoticed, but which constitute two potential threats to the competitiveness of the Spanish tourism sector,” said the president of the Mesa del Turismo, Juan Molas.