Iago Negueruela on Thursday. | MDB


On Thursday, the acting tourism minister, Iago Negueruela, provided an assessment of the Balearic tourist tax (sustainable tourism tax) since its introduction in July 2016. Over the course of two periods of government, the actual revenue has been 560 million euros, with a further 132 million euros forecast for this year. The revenue would have been higher had it not been for the pandemic.

Negueruela said that since the tax was introduced, there has been no negative impact on tourist numbers (2018 was the all-time record year). "The debate about the negative effects on the competitiveness of the Balearics as a tourist destination has become obsolete. The tax does not affect demand, so it would not make any sense to reduce it."

He argued that the tax is right now vital for the maintenance of certain strategic projects, especially those to do with water management and economic diversification "It is a really important source of financing."

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As to the estimate for 2023, he said that it is higher than had originally been forecast. This is because of what has so far been a very strong year for tourism. "We will therefore leave an amount greater than what had been budgeted for the party or parties that come to govern."

The acting minister pointed out that projects amounting to 78% of the 560 million euros have been fully executed and explained that Covid led to a significant modification of the use of funds. As was agreed with employers and unions, revenue was allocated to the reactivation of economic activity and the protection of people. Among health measures that had to be adopted were those closely linked to tourism activity, such as safety measures in hotels.

* The Partido Popular have said that they will maintain the tax but redefine how it is spent. Vox want to scrap the tax.