THE Balearic Islands are to double tourist taxes from January 1 2018.
Holidaymakers will pay an average of €3 per day during next year’s summer season, with the fee rising to €4 in city and five-star hotels, while campers must fork out an extra €1.
The regional council claims that the hike will generate up to €120 million after 2.4 million tourists flocked to the islands in July this year alone, according to the National Institute of Statistics.
“There is no argument against this necessary measure,” confirmed tourism councillor Biel Barcelo.
Officials said that the extra cash will be used for environmental projects and to help deal with the huge influx of summer visitors following a backlash against mass tourism from year-round residents.
The levy is to be imposed on anyone aged 16 or over staying overnight or arriving on a cruise ship, including Spanish nationals, although the price will be halved during the low season from November to April.
But some opposition parties and local business owners reacted furiously to the decision.
Carmen Planas, president of the Balearic Federation of Business Associations said that the measure “represents a cutback of the Balearic Islands’ competitiveness as a tourist destination,” referring to it as “a strategic mistake.”
Biel Company, regional head of the Popular Party, claimed that the council have a “phobia against tourism.”
The news comes after tourism figures for July broke all monthly records, with Spain receiving 10.51 million visitors, smashing the previous high of 10.02 million set in August 2016.