Alicante Provincial Council tourism spokesman, Eduardo Dolon, has attacked the news that the regional government is set to introduce a Tourist Tax in 2017, claiming that it would seriously impact on tourism on the Costa Blanca. The former Torrevieja mayor has called on the Valencian administration to scrap their plans, calling for common sense over the matter.
Such taxes are levied in other parts of Spain, with Catalunya introducing one in November 2012. The tax in that region applies to any facility where tourists stay overnight — from campgrounds and youth hostels to hotels and cruise ships. Apartments and private houses rented to tourists are subject to the charges as well, with hotel operators and others in the travel industry initially concerned by the tax and what it would mean, but numbers have not suffered. Just over 40 million euros per year are raised in Catalunya, all of which is used to promote the area internationally as well as being allocated to improve tourist areas like beaches.
Locally, Eduardo Dolon has a different view saying: – “I believe this type of tax on tourism would be a mistake and one that would have a negative impact on tourism, which is the biggest industry on the Costa Blanca, creating jobs and wealth for the area”. The proposal put forward in Valencia would follow the Catalan model by imposing a tax on overnight accommodation, with rates being charged there at between 50 cents and two euros twenty-five cents a night, depending where people are staying in the region, and the tax is not applied after seven nights. Dolon says that he will be meeting regional tourist representatives to discuss the consequences of any new tax across the Costa Blanca and the effect it would have on visitor numbers. He has also reiterated concerns coming from the industry, which believes that “this measure would reduce the competitiveness of the territory, especially when imposed at a time when growth is being experienced.”