Tourist tax (or sustainable tourism tax) is a charge levied by the Balearic Government for almost all visitors to Mallorca. The tax was introduced to help inject funds into conserving the environment and to make tourism more sustainable for the islands ever-increasing population in the high-season. This will apply to all levels of holiday accommodation such as hotels and villas, in addition to cruise ships.
Although there was some aversion to this new tax being introduced by agencies such as ABTA who believed that the tax would deter tourists from visiting the islands, the Balearic Government stated that the it was “absolutely necessary” to protect the islands’ natural beauty and improve infrastructure. The Balearic Islands are certainly not the first location to introduce a tax for tourists; France, Germany, Italy and Croatia are some of the countries that have long levied such charges.
It is believed a total sum of 120 million euros will be raised each year as a result of the initiative, which will go towards the protection and maintenance of natural island resources. During the winter months of November to April, rates will be reduced – yet another reason to experience the beauty of the archipelago in the quieter low season.
The new rates are 4€ for those staying in luxury hotels, 3€ for mid-range accommodation, 2€ for cruise passengers and cheaper hotels and apartments, and 1€ per person per day for campers and hostel guests. Those under the age of 16 are exempt.
Tourist numbers in the Balearic Islands continue to rise year upon year with arrivals into Palma airport increasing and up to 500 cruise ships docking in Palma every year, depositing as many as 22,000 passengers a day. Previously, visitors arriving by cruise ship were only levied tourist tax if they remained on Balearic soil for more than 12 hours; now, all passengers have to pay.