Clia and Abta to lobby against Balearics eco-tax

Clia and Abta to lobby against Balearics eco-tax

UK trade bodies have vowed to fight plans to introduce an eco-tax on visitors to the Balearics.

Tourists staying at five-star hotels on the islands or on cruise ships moored at any of the ports will be charged €2 a day in high season under new proposals.

A reduced levy would also apply to holidaymakers staying in hostels, campsites, holiday homes and lower-grade hotels.

The proposal includes halving the tax in low season, and children under 14 would be exempt.

Cruise association Clia UK & Ireland plans to meet with Balearic government officials to warn that some cruise lines could alter their itineraries and reduce their visits to the islands if the tax is introduced.

A spokeswoman said: “This could have a negative impact on cruising’s economic contribution in this region.”

Abta will also use its influence to try to reverse the decision. Nikki White, head of destination and sustainability, said: “We will be writing this week to the Balearic government urging them to rethink their decision.

“We will also be seeking clarification of the amounts that will be charged, the mechanisms for collection and the rationale behind the tax.

“Fifteen years ago a similar tax was introduced which had the unintended consequence of drastically reducing visitor numbers to the islands.”

Oscar Gonzalez, marketing director EMEA for Majorca-based hotel chain Iberostar, said: “The responsibility of the government is to manage the money they have, not obtain extra money in this way.”

Biel Barcelo, the islands’ vice-president and tourism minister, said the revenues would help “maintain and improve the quality of tourism services in the islands”.

The Balearic government is expected to make a decision about ?the proposed tax in the second quarter of 2016.

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