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Mallorca and Ibiza hotels now want €4-a-day tourist tax SCRAPPED after drop in British tourists

MAJORCA and Ibiza are calling on the government to scrap the controversial tourist tax as it is a "serious threat" to the future of the islands.

It follows a six-week delay in the start of the holiday season on the islands.

Getty – Contributor Tourist numbers are dwindling in Majorca and Ibiza

Number of Brits visiting the islands have been low for this time of the year due to factors such as Easter falling in late April, worries about Brexit and the continued resurgence of markets such as Turkey and Egypt.

The three main hotel associations in the Balearics want the immediate withdrawal of the tourist tax which was reintroduced in 2016 and then doubled in 2018.

It means holidaymakers are charged between two and four euros extra each night they stay in Majorca, Menorca or Ibiza, payable at the hotel receptions at the start or end of their break

A spokesman for the Hotel Business Federation of Mallorca (FEHM), the Hotel Business Federation of Ibiza and Formentera (FEHIF) and the Hotel Association of Menorca (ASHOME) said: "Those decisions could not have been more inappropriate given the uncertainty looming over the sector could already be glimpsed."

Getty – Contributor The holiday season has been delayed for six weeks

They say they have warned time and time again since 2016 that the tourist tax would harm the islands and claim this is now proving true.

The spokesman said: "The Brexit process in the United Kingdom directly affects the reserves of one of our main markets, which in the period from January to November 2018 has registered a decrease in the islands of 1.5 per cent, in Menorca minus ten per cent and for the 2019 season is even more pronounced."

The gradual recovery of destinations on the southern and eastern shores of the Mediterranean was also hitting hard, with the arrival of tourists to Turkey increasing by 21.6 per cent from January to September 2018 and to Egypt by 41.5 per cent between January and July.

Hoteliers said: "And the tendency is for the increase to be even greater, hovering around 59 per cent in Turkey and 58 per cent in Egypt."

Getty Images – Getty Brits are choosing other destinations such as Turkey and Egypt over Spain, the most popular holiday choice

They are also citing the devaluation of the Turkish lira.

This mainly affects the German market, which from January to November 2018 has dropped by 4.3 per cent per cent in the Balearic Islands and reservations already down by 20 per cent this year.

On top of all this, the outlook is so bad that the season won't be starting in March but from Easter in late April, with the fall of German, British and Nordic tourism being a major contributory factor.

This is despite all sorts of offers, which appear not to be working.

The three Balearic hotel associations says the islands' government has to listen to them and scrapping of the tourist tax must be a priority.

Residents in Majorca are outraged by the rise of fighting tourists

The groups said: "It does not make sense to tax tourists with a tax that was theoretically born with the aim of alleviating the footprint of tourism in the Balearic Islands, an objective that is far from reality.

"It has been shown that the projects financed by the tax have nothing to do with tourism and the environment."

The hoteliers also want new measures to speed up hotel refurbishments and less red tape, more control over illegal tourist rentals, with more inspections and fines.

Benidorm, another popular holiday destination for Brits, has experienced a huge drop in tourist numbers with half a million less overnight stays booked compared to the previous year.

Ibiza has also experienced a drop in numbers as visitor spending is down £24 million.

The Hotel Business Federation of Ibiza and Formentera slammed the new tax calling it "seriously damaging".

A number of popular tourist destinations around the world are to bring in new taxes for visitors, including Edinburgh, Bali and Venice.

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