Published on : Friday, March 13, 2020
The hotel owners and operators in Mallorca and Ibiza are asking for the suspension of the islands’ tourist tax as the number of travellers visiting the area begins to decline due to coronavirus outbreak. The alert comes as the coronavirus pandemic has caused many people to reassess holiday plans.
The call was made to the Balearic Government to freeze the tax temporarily as a way of encouraging holidaymakers to push ahead with holiday plans, or consider the region as a vacation destination.
This comes as many holidaymakers begin to cancel plans, and Spain’s number of confirmed cases of coronavirus surpasses 3,000.
The tourist tax in Mallorca and Ibiza aims to promote sustainable tourism with the revenues being invested in environmental protection. However it adds an extra expense to holidays for tourists.
The tourist tax in Mallorca and Ibiza from April fluctuates between one and four euros a night per adult depending on the level of accommodation.
It can cost a family more than £50 a week but brings in around €120 million for the Balearic Government.
The hoteliers say a quick decision over a postponement could be made as it is a regional matter and would not have to go through Spain.
The hotel sector has requested the Balearic Government, within a package of measures to alleviate the economic effects of the coronavirus, to temporarily suspend the Sustainable Tourism Tax, known as the ecotax.
This request is shared by other business associations of the Balearic Islands. In addition, this is a measure that can be taken by the Regional Executive, as it is a tax of its own. Other requests, such as bonuses for permanent workers on Social Security, are the responsibility of the State, said a spokesman for the hoteliers following a crisis meeting. The hotel insiders are pushing for the decision to be made as soon as possible, with a “flood of cancellations” anticipated.
The Hotel and Business Federation of Ibiza and Formentera says that the hotels and restaurants will open as usual in April but they are not expecting a good start to the season which might be extended to November
Balearic president Francina Armengol, who has yet to make any comment about the tourist tax, said: “My first message is of condolences and support to admitted patients and family members.”
She said those affected in the Balearic Islands are 0.8 percent of the total of the State and has called for the population to take all possible personal measures to prevent the spread.
The Balearic Government is also calling for more control at ports and airports and stop the maritime connection with risk areas.
Meanwhile, the World Health Organisation has officially named COVID-19 a pandemic, causing multiple governments to put travel bans in place.