Benidorm says "no" to tourist tax

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Benidorm has decided not to slap an extra tax on tourists even though other Spanish resorts are considering using the charge.

Experts have advised the Spanish Government that a good way to bring in money is to bring in a so-called “Tourist Tax” of between two to five euros for each day of their stay in Spain.

Currently only holidaymakers to Catalonia and the Balearic Islands pay the tax, as the government is leaving it to individual resorts to decide whether or not they will charge it.

In Catalonia they started to levy the tax (which applies to any facility where tourists stay overnight, including campsites, hostels, hotels and cruise ships) in 2012 and it brings in 50 million euros per year. Pere Granados, the Mayor of Salou, said that 50% of the tax stayed in the municipality.

The Balearics have doubled the tax this season, making hoteliers furious as they say it is harming tourism. This has been used on everything from promoting electric cars to saving endangered plants.

Valencia has been thinking of levying the tax although currently no final decision has been made.

However, Benidorm seems to be making a stand against it. At a tourism conference in the Canary Islands the Mayor of Benidorm, Antonio Perez, stated that although resorts were in need of extra funding he didn’t see this as the best way to raise this money. Instead he felt that resorts should be allowed to keep some of the money raised by VAT on goods and services for money to be used on improvements.

He said “At the moment, the tourism municipalities are simply promoting VAT as a generous income for coffers of the state.”

The debate about Spanish resorts introducing Tourist taxes is expected to hot up as we approach the 2019 season.

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