Wednesday 23 May 2018

Majorca and Ibiza double tourist tax for Irish holidaymakers

A higher 'Tax for Sustainable Tourism' now costs visitors up to €4 per day

Spain, Mallorca, view towards beach of Sant Elm
Spain, Mallorca, view towards beach of Sant Elm
Pól Ó Conghaile

Pól Ó Conghaile

The Balearic Islands of Majorca, Ibiza, Menorca and Formentera have doubled their daily tax on tourists as of May 1.

During peak tourist season, from May to October 31, the islands will levy a tax of up to €4 per person, per day, on all visitors to the island.

In addition, the tourist tax is subject to 10pc VAT.

That means a couple spending a two-week summer holiday could now be liable for a tax bill of €61.60 on top of their travel and accommodation costs.

Cruise ship passengers will also now be subject to the charge, which is reportedly expected to bring in revenue of around €120 million in 2018.

The Tax for Sustainable Tourism, as it is known, was originally introduced in July 2016 in an effort to combat the environmental impact of tourism.

The Balaerics, and Majorca and Ibiza in particular, have seen tourist and cruise numbers bulge in recent years, leading to a growing peak season jam and putting huge strains on road, sewage and water infrastructure.

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A crowded beach in Barcelona. Photo: Deposit

The islands are not alone - overtourism has become a growing issue in European hotspots, with Venice, Barcelona (above) and Dubrovnik just some of the destinations taking measures to reduce the impact of visitors in peak months.

The Canary Islands have also been urged to implement a tourist tax, and a rally in Ibiza last month decried what organisers called "disrespectful" tourism.

"The first and most important purpose [of the tax] is the protection, preservation and recovery of the environment," the Balearics government says.

Revenue gathered will be used to strengthen conservation, rehabilitate the islands' cultural heritage and invest in sustainable tourism, it adds.

"If more people come to visit us in autumn, winter or spring, we can create more jobs."

The tourism tax ranges from €1 per day for visitors staying in hostels to €2 for cruise passengers, holiday rentals and budget hotels.

It costs €3 a day for those staying in three and four-star hotels, and €4 for five-star hotels. Rates drop significantly from November to April 30.

Children under the age of 16 are exempt from the tax.

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