The Eco Tax That’s Coming To Ibiza

The EcoTax is coming to Ibiza

The EcoTax is coming.

A new form of direct tax is to be introduced across the Balearic Islands of Ibiza, Formentera, Majorca and Minorca.  It’s called the EcoTax and will be payable by everyone staying on the islands.

The theory is to levy a small charge on everyone, and whilst it is in a draft stage at the moment, and out for public consultation they do hope to bring it in ready for April 2016.

The money raised, which is estimated at around 50 million euros per year will be used for the following:

  • Improvement of the quality and competitiveness of the tourist sector
  • Promotion of the islands during the low season
  • The construction of new infrastructures for sustainable tourism
  • The protection and preservation of the environment
  • The conservation and restoration of historical and cultural heritage
  • Research and technological innovation
  • For better employment opportunities in the tourist sector.

The charge per person per night will vary and will be dependent on when you stay and in what level of accommodation you choose:

High Season (April – October)

  • 50 cents (about 35p) for campsites and hostels
  • 1 Euro (about 70p) for rural hotels, domestic tourism accommodation, holiday apartments up to 3 keys and for up to 3 star hotels and hotel apartments
  • 2 Euros (about £1.40) for cruise ship tourists, 4 and 5 star hotels, 4 key holiday apartments and residential accommodation rented through tourist companies

In the low season (November – March) the tax will be reduced by 50%.

Currently it is also not applicable to those under 14 years of age.

There has been a huge backlash against the concept from tour operators, hoteliers and tourists alike and has already been dubbed “The Tourist Tax”.

The figures being thrown around by the British Press stating that it will increase a week’s holiday by £80 seems to be unfounded with the reality being that a family of 4 (2 adults 2 kids) staying in a 4 star hotel will pay £20 extra a week.

Cala Vadella Ibiza

The tax will be used to protect and promote the islands although not necessarily in that order.

Naturally it will inevitably attract a lot of negative press, but in our opinion the tax is a small price to pay to protect the islands and make them more sustainable to tourism for the future.

That said, however, I do feel there are some holes in the proposal that need to be addressed.  Currently there is no specific proposal in place to deal with the grey / illegal rental market across the islands and how or even if they intend to collect any of the proposed tax from these properties.

I could also find no maximum days it is applied figure so we are unsure if it will be applied for the first 7, 10 or 14 days of a persons stay, and also if it is non ending how it will affect seasonal workers.

The way the money will be used is also open to debate and it seems the benefit to the tourism sector is far higher than the actual protection of the islands themselves and of course we also hope that they will produce a multi lingual website / leaflet to explain the charge to the masses in the most popular languages that visit to ensure everyone is aware of why the tax has been introduced and where the money is being spent.

We feel that there could have been a better, albeit more controversial way of raising much needed funds to help protect and promote the islands.

You may need to sit down before reading the next sentence.

Introduce a percentage charge on all alcoholic drinks sold during the high season.

  • Firstly this would affect everyone across every island irrelevant of where they stay, how long they stay or what type of accommodation they stay in.
  • Yes, during this time the locals would be affected but by only charging it during the high season when many work extremely long hours their actual loss of income would be minimal and of course they could stock up before the high season started.
  • Those that are likely to do the most damage to the islands are also the ones most likely to drink the most alcohol and,  therefore,  they would naturally pay significantly more than the average holiday maker.
  • For all-inclusive resorts you just need to add a small fee per person over 18 years old as part of their booking.
  • Those under 18 would not be charged as they are not allowed to drink alcohol.

I am sure I have over-simplified my idea far too much,  but I am not convinced the EcoTax as it exists in its current format will be a long term sustainable venture and may actually do  more harm than good to the islands and cause visitors who only see the national  headlines of holidays costing more to seek out other alternative destinations.

As always I look forward to other peoples comments on this complex but necessary issue and look forward to seeing how it evolves prior to April 2016.

 


One comment

  • Difficult to how the tax will change things as the purposes of the tax have already been funded- so no new initiatives here- just additional taxation to fund mis spent previous taxation. A simpler and better way to raise funding would be a 2 euro levy placed on every adult Non resident flight- this would address the gaps caused by the non declared rentals. The hotels are already feeling the pinch as IBIZA is changing from a week or fortnightly destination but is becoming a fast weekend fix- so a daily room rate is exactly what is not needed. As for promotion of the islands in the low season- I have seen the efforts of the government initatives- and they have been next to useless- tax breaks- lower landing fees are whats needed and then let the private sector grow the business.. But an additional tax for the Islands only? perhaps a Madrid led policy to get us tourists to go to the mainland? Perhaps the Islands government leaders need to resist this clearly discouraging extra taxation idea

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