Brexit and visitor tax warning for Balearics

Brexit and visitor tax warning for Balearics

Travel bosses have warned the fallout from Brexit coupled with a new visitor tax could see tourism to the Balearics take a hit.

The length of holidays to the destination could be cut short as a result of last week’s referendum outcome and the Sustainable Tourism Tax, which comes into force this week, according to the boss of Barcelo Hotels & Resorts.

Chief executive Raul Gonzalez said: “The combination of the depreciation of sterling and the eco-tax is a bad combination.

He added: “It’s very difficult to have a clear opinion [on Brexit] but some people will not be able to pay as much money for holidays and we will see a reduction in the length of holidays.”

The tax, approved by the Balearic parliament, costs up to €2.20 per person, per night, and is effective from tomorrow (July 1).

Cosmos Tours & Cruises executive chairman Hugh Morgan said: “Price is king and it’s probably right that Brexit and the tax could have a negative impact. In about two years’ time someone will scrap the idea and wonder what to do with the money.”

He described the tax as “a 
waste of time”. The Balearics scrapped a similar scheme in 2003, a year after it 
was introduced.

Morgan said: “It’s laudable but I think it will struggle – they need to be very clear what they will use the money for.”

Despite his concerns, Gonzalez said he was still “optimistic”, adding: “For the UK it’s not easy to find markets that are a substitute for Spain.”

It is the hotel operator’s responsibility to pass on the tax and it is up to the hotel whether to include the tax in the final price or ask for payment at reception.

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