Holidays in Spain: the Costa del Sol debates the tourist tax for Andalusia | Travel News | Trip
Spain’s Costa del Sol region of Andalucia is one of its most popular tourist destinations. Andalusia’s Minister of Tourism and Culture has said now is not the time to introduce a tax.
Arturo Bernal said Andalucia needed to ‘focus on what’s important’ such as drought and water supply issues.
He said: “I think we have issues that are so big that we need to deal with them over the next year and a half, and there’s no point in diverting attention to other issues.”
Earlier this week he said: ‘Now is not the time to impose a tourist tax. We talk about a tourist tax when demand is at its maximum, but we have to put things into perspective.
“Demand may be high, but the sector’s results are not as good as they could be.
“Costs have gone up and we have runaway inflation and all of that is very worrying.”
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Bernal said the region’s water supply problems need to be resolved before thinking about a tourist tax.
Tourist taxes are controversial but the practice is already in place in several popular areas of Spain.
Tourists visiting Barcelona pay a tax that varies depending on the style of accommodation they are staying in.
Holidaymakers on the Balearic Islands also pay a tax with the smallest fee for camping and the heaviest tax for luxury stays.
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Benidorm Mayor Toni Perez said: “The Government of Benidorm, in line with what is maintained by the sector, has always defended the ‘no and never’ approach to the tourist tax”.
He said forcing visitors to pay a fee was not a good example of hospitality and left a bad impression.
Many European cities charge a tourist tax, including Venice and Rome in Italy and Paris in France.
Wales is holding a consultation on introducing a tax, a proposal which has drawn anger from some tourism officials.
Money from tourist taxes is often used to pay for essential services in honeypot areas.