TORONTO — Mediterranean hotspots Majorca, Menorca and Ibiza – hugely popular with European vacationers, to the point of being overrun, some say – are getting ready to implement their new tourist tax this summer.
The 1 – 2 euro fee will be charged per person, per day. British travel trade and consumer groups have slammed the move but officials say the tax is necessary to fund efforts to protect the Balearic Islands’ natural resources, which they say are being eroded by ever-increasing numbers of tourists. More than three million British vacationers head to the Balearics every year for sun, sand and wild parties, says The Daily Mail.
Malta is also introducing a tourist tax, or what it calls an eco-tax, of about 50c per night with a 5-euro cap for visitors 18 years and older. Malta gets about two million visitors every year.
In UK trade publication TTG, consultant Andy Cooper says that while it’s tempting to levy taxes when tourism is booming, the move could backfire: “These taxes are fine in a buoyant market where they can take advantage, but will it still work when the market begins to struggle a bit?”