Holidaymakers shun Ibiza following new tourist tax – with visitor spending down £24m

Fehif, the Hotel Business Federation of Ibiza and Formentera, has slammed the so-called "eco tax" – which costs tourists an extra €2-4 for each night's stay – as "discriminatory and seriously damaging" to the two holiday hot spots.

They say that unlike Majorca and Menorca, which have other industries, Ibiza and Formentera depend exclusively on tourism for their economic development.

The furious hoteliers claim the tourist tax, reintroduced in 2017 and then doubled in 2018, is creating a double whammy for the two smaller islands when coupled with the effect of Brexit on UK visitors and competition from the resurgent markets of Egypt and Tunisia.

A spokesperson for Fehif said: "All this is having a major impact on the general trade of Ibiza and Formentera, which has seen its tourism revenues reduced by 27 million this year as visitors are reducing their current spending."

The hotel federation, who represent 425 hotels in Ibiza and Formentera, has launched a campaign against the continuation of the tourist tax.

Under the motto "The Balearic tourist tax harms us all. Against an Unsustainable Tax," Fehif has accused the Balearic Government of "seriously damaging the only development engine of Ibiza and Formentera, which is tourism."

The spokesperson said: "Contrary to other areas of the Balearic Islands, we depend exclusively on tourism for our economic development."

The hoteliers say another spin-off from the unpopular tourist tax is to push holidaymakers away from official accommodation into flats or villas which are not properly registered, and are therefore illegal.

The visitor, however, avoids the extra nightly charge of the tourist tax which can add as much as €28 per person for a seven-night stay, payable when the tourist arrives at their hotel.

The Balearic Government has so far ignored the opposition to the tax, saying it is bringing in millions of euros of extra revenue which is being spent on a wide range of green projects across the islands.

Benidorm, another UK holidaymaker favourite,  has seen British overnight stays plummet by almost half a million this year.

Hotels in the resort are now being urged to try and lure holidaymakers from other countries instead of Britain.

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