Local hoteliers attending the annual Christmas dinner of the Majorcan Tourism Board refused to applaud Balearic leader Francesc Antich after he made his speech. It was probably a gesture which went unnoticed by many but it rather sums-up the relations between Majorcan hoteliers and the Balearic government at the moment. In some cases diplomatic relations have ceased. The cause of the dispute is naturally the tourist tax.

I have touched upon the controversial surcharge many times before and I have made by feelings perfectly clear. But what is disturbing is the breakdown in relations between the government and hoteliers. The hoteliers are an important part of the Balearic economy. Without them there is no tourism.

More disturbing still is that it appears that Balearic leader Francesc Antich is not interested in making peace with this warring faction of the tourist industry.

Antich has staked his political career on introducing the tax, and reading between the lines he is telling hoteliers that he rules the Balearics and won't be swayed by anyone.

If the Balearics is to continue to prosper then Antich needs to settle his differences because the last thing the island needs at the moment is an open dispute between government and industry at a time when the Balearics is facing stiff competition from rival holiday destinations which do not have a tourist tax and do not have warring hoteliers.

Jason Moore

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