Tourism minister Biel Barceló reported on progress with projects financed with tourist tax revenue to the tourism parliamentary committee on Thursday. These are projects that are funded with 2016 revenue, and 79% of them are being undertaken, are being processed or, in two instances, have been finished.
The two completed projects are for infrastructure in Els Pujols (Formentera) and for the connection of the desalination plant in Santa Eularia (Ibiza) to the main network. Between them, these have used some 2.4 million euros of tax revenue.
Barceló explained that 94 million euros have been collected since the tax was introduced on 1 July 2016. He said that the tax was now already established as a tool for social justice. "The projects guarantee that the vast majority of citizens can benefit from the initial investments." He added that estimated revenue from the tax for 2018 will be 120 million euros; the tax rates are of course doubling for the May to October period next year.
Projects so far approved, he went on, fulfil two main objectives of the tax, those of "compensating for the ecological footprint of tourism and improving the environment".
Of the projects that are being funded with 2017 revenue, he said that 40% of them correspond to the objective of acquiring or rehabilitating "emblematic places that are of high environmental or cultural value". A further 16% are for activities related to the "diversification of the economic model and projects for human capital development, research and development and energy". Another 17% relate to projects to protect and recover the natural environment and improve the islands' water systems.
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