The Balearic Minister for Tourism, Celestí Alomar, hit back yesterday at claims by the Chairman of the International Federation of Tour Operators, Martin Brackenbury, that the tourist tax will hit families more than any other sector of the tourist market. Alomar said that the government has done its homework and spoken to tour operators, both British and German, and that the opinions are “radically different.” Alomar said yesterday that families will not be hit any more than anybody else, because the tourist tax will not be charged on children aged under 12. Alomar added that right from the start of looking into the viability of the tax, the government has been well aware of the fact that families account for a large proportion of the Balearic holiday market. The Balearic Minister said yesterday in Ibiza that the decision was taken not to charge the tourist tax on minors “so it will have zero effect on families.” This year United Kingdom airport taxes are expected to increase to the equivalent of 5'900 pesetas and, with the added Balearic tourist tax in the region of 1'800 pesetas, British holidaymakers coming to the Balearics will be faced with an extra 7'700 pesetas (around £28 depending on the exchange rate) added to the cost of their package holiday. For a family of four with two children over 16, this will mean extras to the total of around £112.

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