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Travel

Tourism tax in Mallorca to be doubled

Visitors to Mallorca will probably have to dig deeper into their pockets from 2018 onwards. The parties in the Balearic Islands’ left-wing coalition government have agreed to a doubling of the controversial tourism tax.

Media reports cite the regional tourism ministry in Palma. "There is agreement in principle," the local head of the left-wing Podemos party, Alberto Jarabo, told the Europapress news agency. A meeting to discuss the final details is due to be held on Thursday. It means visitors to the islands of Mallorca, Menorca, Formentera and Ibiza will have to pay up to four euros each per night in future.

An increase in the so-called "Ecotasa" (environmental tax) introduced in the summer of 2016 is expected bring total revenues up to around 100 million euros per year. The regional authorities say the money collected will be used mainly to finance environmental projects.

The Mallorcan hoteliers’ association FEHM has criticized the project as "catastrophic." "The tourism tax hasn’t had any positive impact on either the social sphere or on tourism," the association’s president, Inmaculada Benito, said in a statement.

Depending on the type of accommodation, visitors to the Balearic Islands currently have to pay between 50 cents and two euros per person per night. In the low season between November and April, the amount is halved. A plan to move the start of the peak season to March is also being looked at. Children under the age of 17 are exempt from the tax.

ak/cc (dpa)