The Spanish Business Confederation, the equivalent to the CBI in the UK, yesterday expressed its concern and opposition to the Balearic government's controversial plan to introduce the tourist tax. The Confederation's Tourism Council said yesterday that it is “extremely worried” about the Balearic project and warned the government that any such move would have “serious consequences” for the tourist industry and the region's economy. The biggest area of concern is that business executives fear that the tax will turn tourists away, a concern which has already been aired by key players in the global tourist industry, weaken the Balearics' competitiveness and even force tour operators to move their operations to other Mediterranean destinations. The Confederation has advised the Balearic government to look at its “fiscal mechanism” in order to find the funds needed to protect and sustain the environment. Spain's business community says the local government is not kidding anyone, it pointed out to the Balearics that over recent years the holiday industry has done particularly well on the back of the war in Yugoslavia, terrorism in Egypt and earthquakes in Turkey.

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