Brits holidaying in Mallorca and Ibiza will have to pay DOUBLE the tourist tax from today

To add to holidaymakers' woes, the overall charge for a stay on the holiday islands will also see VAT added at ten per cent after Madrid announced it wanted some of the proceeds.

The new rates for the increased tourist tax will apply from May 1 until October 31 for all those over the age of 16, then it is cut by 50 per cent for the low season.

This summer will also be the first time cruise ship passengers have to pay the charge, as part of the Balearic's bid to bring in millions of euros of extra income.

Total revenue of around €120 million is expected in 2018.

Hoteliers have already warned that the extra fee will make holidaymakers seek out bargains elsewhere, particularly with the resurgence of destinations such as Tunisia or Egypt.

They believe up to a million holidaymakers could be lost.

President of the Hotel Federation of Mallorca, Gabriel Llobera said: "Mallorca and the rest of the islands will lose competitiveness as a holiday destination with respect to Turkey, Egypt or Tunisia, which will devalue their currencies to be much more attractive for German and British tourism."

But the Balearic Government argues that the "sustainable tourism tax" only represents between 1.4 to 2.1 per cent of the daily expenditure of tourists visiting the islands.

They have written to both ABTA and Germany's equivalent, the DRV in defence of the charge, to explain how the money is being spent on issues like on upgrading sewage treatment and water plants.

A Balearic tourism department spokesperson said: "The number of visitors coming to the Balearic Islands continues to rise year after year and this generates greater environmental impacts.

"The revenues of the tax are primarily invested in environmental protection projects, in order to reduce these impacts and preserve our territory."

The doubling of the tourist tax from May 1 will mean guests staying in hotels, city hotels, five-star apartment hotels, five-star luxury and four-star superiors will pay €4 per day; those of four stars and three stars superior, €3; those of one, two and three stars, €2.

In rural hotels, it will be €2 per day; in hostels, hostels residences, pensions, inns, tourist camps and campsites, as well as shelters , it will be €2.

The tax decreases by 50 per cent on the ninth night of a holidaymaker's stay.

For the first time, the Government will also charge cruise ship passengers if they stop at a port in the Balearic Islands regardless of the berth time – up to now it was only charged after 12 hours.

The fee will be €2 and this alone is estimated to generate revenue of about €1.8 million.
The Balearic Government says the tax will still be "the lowest in Europe" compared to Brussels (average cost of €8), Florence (€5 ) and Amsterdam (€3).

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