Benidorm erupts with rage over new tourist tax for holidaymakers – ‘No and never’

Travel ban: Epidemiologist says ‘closing borders does not work’

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Toni Perez said asking holidaymakers to pay an extra fee per night on holiday would “penalise tourist activity”. He said Benidorm would resist every effort to apply the tourist tax.

Political groups in Valencia agreed this week to support the regional Government if they decide to introduce a tourist tax.

The amount has not been decided but a proposal is expected to be ready for March 2022.

It will then be up to individual municipalities in Valencia whether they decide to implement the tax or not.

Initial proposals have suggested anywhere between 50 cents to 2€ per night (42p-£1.70).

The fee would depend on the type of tourist accommodation with lower fees for hostels and camping.

Under the proposal, children under 16 and pensioners travelling for health holidays would be exempt from the tourist tax.

Manola Mata, Socialist spokesperson, said it was a “reasonable model” with a “very solid” legal framework.

He said: “Each municipality will have freedom whether to apply the rate or not and whether it will be one or two euros.”

There has been strong opposition to the proposed tax with some saying the idea is “inhumane”.

In a furious attack, Benidorm’s mayor said the tax was being implemented by people who “hate tourism”.

Mayor Toni Perez said: “The Government of Benidorm, in tune with what is maintained by the sector, has always defended the ‘no and never’ approach to the tourist tax.

“It generates more uncertainty in a sector that has always been a tractor and a locomotive, offering great returns to the gross domestic product of the Valencian community.

“The introduction of the tourist tax is contrary to the model of the Valencian community.

“We do not understand that forcing a visitor to pay a fee is the best letter of introduction or example of hospitality that can be given.

“Sustainable, responsible and quality tourism has been practised day by day and for decades in this region in destinations such as Benidorm.

“That has little or nothing to do with penalising the sector and the activity or with introducing a tax that does not solve anything. Benidorm will not apply it.”

According to Olive Press, Alicante’s tourism councillor has also rejected the idea of a tourism tax in the region.

Mari Carmen Sanchez said: “It seems incredible that in the situation in which weare in with the pandemic hitting citizens again, especially in the tourism sector, they decide to impose the tourist tax.

“It is a burden for the sector that leaves us at a clear competitive disadvantage compared to other similar destinations across the country.”

Tourist taxes are already in place in the Spanish region of Catalonia and across the Balearic islands.

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