The tourist tax was introduced on 1 July 2016, and in 2018 it's going up.

01-07-2016

The rate of the tourist tax seems set to increase in 2018. The government, speaking of a need to regulate the flow of tourists into the Balearics, sees an increase as a means of achieving this. PSOE, which has previously not subscribed to the idea of tourist limits, appears to now believe there is a need, with the tourist tax a potential way of establishing limits. For the tourism minister, Biel Barceló (Més), an increase in the tax, with limits in mind, would represent something of a shift in his stance. He has in the past said that the tourist tax is not a tool for limiting tourist numbers.

A firm decision has yet to be made, but it is understood that an increased tax rate will be under discussion at PSOE's congress next weekend. How much the increase might be is therefore also not known, but Podemos have stated that a doubling of the tax will be a requirement for them approving the 2018 budget.

The government is insisting that an increase will be a regulatory measure and not a revenue-raising one. But if current levels of tourism were to continue, it is hard to avoid concluding that it is for additional revenue. Depending on how much the tax increases, it might also not make any significant difference to the number of tourists: the principle of limits wouldn't therefore be of great relevance.

The government is also looking at reducing the period for the 50% low season discount. At present, the tax goes down by a half from November to April. From next year, it seems certain that the full rate will apply to April and possibly also to March. Given that the government has made much of seeking to distribute tourism more evenly, rather than there being such a heavy concentration in the summer months, removing the discount for March and April would seem to contradict this aim. Moreover, it would only add to an impression that the increase is for revenue rather than regulatory purposes.

A further change being contemplated is to cruise ship passengers. The current rule is that a ship has to be in port for twelve hours for the tax to be applied. The government is considering scrapping this. The tax (of one euro per passenger at the moment) would be paid regardless of the time in port. This change comes against the background of a decrease in the number of passengers this year: up to April at any rate. There were more than 40,000 fewer at Balearic ports over the first four months of the year, though the numbers do habitually increase significantly in the main summer months.

Where hotels are concerned, the current rate for three star is one euro per night (May to October). This rises to two euros for four star superior and five star accommodation. It is understood that some ministers are in favour of upping the lower rate in an attempt to tackle so-called drunken tourism. Others believe that tourists who are paying top room rates for the best quality and starred hotels should pay more.

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Steve Kane / Hace 2 months

We the Life blood of Majorca (TOURISTS) will at some point say enough of being taxed to come and spend our hard earned money in Mallorca why should we come, we can go to other tourists havens were they welcome us TOURISTS. Talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face.

+5-

Ron / Hace 2 months

TC - you made a fair comment re the tourist tax in other cities - in your case Rome. In Italy the tax is not paid by residents as is the case here. This tax has been set up and is being managed by incompetents who are misguided and are only concerned with how many euros they will have in the coffers to squander. If it is managed in any similar way to the last failed tourist tax there will be no clarity and trasparency. For a start - where are the accounts for last year? There was talk of funds going to mallorcan care homes, and almond growers - they will definitely get money this year to combat the tree disease. This has a lot to do with hard working tourists who pay this tax - because - the quote was: tourists like to take pictures of the blossom. !! As residents we used to spend nights in Palma hotels on a weekend break. Never again until this tax is finally scrapped, as the P.P. have said they will do. I will let everyone know if they go back on their word when they are returned with a working majority.

+18-

Pollensa1946 / Hace 2 months

'I have not found a translation for "tumbleweed" '

Just dug out my Collins Reference Dictionary and tumbleweed is planta rodadora. So when I'm next in Pollensa I'll ask my friends if they've seen any around. I'm confident the answer will be no.

+-2-

jeff cooper / Hace 2 months

sorry I love Majorca and have been on holiday over 30 years but the greed of your government the rip off holiday firms charging over 20%extra next year and the drop in the £ example one week in June next year is over £1000 per person and lets be honest we could travel any were in the world cheaper than visiting Majorca

+23-

John P / Hace 2 months

Tried twice,moderated twiceEverything is great politicians are great lucky lucky men are great,airport well run,etc,etc

+0-

Pollensa1946 / Hace 2 months

"Steve Riches... The most interesting part of this online exchange is the comment you have chosen to remove - which I know was not in any way offensive and thus shows that this publication is now running to a worrying agenda."

I don't perceive any agenda, simply a requirement for good manners. In calling me "Pollensa19oldperson" and denigrating several lovely resorts he simply placed himself in the same category as the type of tourists he wishes to rid the island of. Yes I am 71, and one of the joys of that age is that I have had many opportunities to visit the lovely island of Mallorca, both summer and winter, and meet and converse with the warm, friendly, hospitable people of those same resorts he disdains. Although I speak good Spanish I have not found a translation for "tumbleweed" so cannot testify to the accuracy or otherwise of his criticism. However, with the explosive inflation in accommodation costs over the past 10 years, and now the tourist tax, If tourist numbers reduce in the way he hopes I fear for the future well-being of those resorts I so enjoy.

+2-

John P / Hace 2 months

Have been censored,probably because said politics and s-u-Id go hand in hand on this island

+8-

JohnP / Hace 2 months

Stupidity and politics go and in hand on this island. After many years my son and family decided on Turkey,my daughter and family Crete.Doubt they will come back when comparing prices and value. Nobody seems to care ,the airport is in chaos police never seen ,lucky,lucky men allowed to carry on unchallenged and every so often the taxi drivers will cause havoc.

+18-

TC / Hace 2 months

Just returned from a city break in Rome, they charge €4 per person per day, as long as the proceeds are spent properly and not squandered, it's not a problem to increase the mallorca tourist tax. Just publicly account on its distribution to all!

+2-

MelB / Hace 2 months

The depth of feeling on this subject is shown by the number and content of the comments. When the respectable tourist I.e. Henry James will be lost as well as , hopefully, the unwanted element of tourism, then the government must tread very carefully. Sheer greed will ultimately end in tears. Finally, what an interesting and thought provoking comment from Steve Riches.

+15-