On January 1 the tourist tax rates will go up by 2.7 per cent. While the tax is still being singled out by the tourist sector as one of the causes for the poor summer and winter season this year, next week, the tax rates will rise, as will all other autonomous taxes in accordance with the 2003 budget which was approved two months ago. News of the tax hike failed to lift the tourist industry's Christmas spirit. The tourist and business sectors have unanimously rejected the tax increase and warned the government “of making a serious mistake, they do not seem to understand that by doing this the government is damaging the Balearics' tourism and economic interests on the back of a year which has proved critical for tourism,” Jaume Bauza, president of the Balearic Association of Travel Agents said. The price hike was slammed by the president of the Majorcan Hotel Federation, Pere Cañellas, who accused the government of failing to take the tourist industry seriously. Spokesperson for the World of TUI, which owns Thomsons, in Spain, said “this will not help the Balearics as a destination - now we'll have to wait and see how the German media reacts to this,” Juan Carlos Alia said.

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