Since July 2016 Balearic Islands have a SUSTAINABLE TOURISM TAX paid by residents and tourists enjoying stays in tourist establishments as well as cruise ships
The purpose of the tax is to compensate Balearic society for the environmental cost involved in certain activities that distort or deteriorate the environment in the Balearic Islands, on the one hand, and on the other, to improve the competitiveness of the tourism sector by means of sustainable, responsible and high-quality tourism in the archipelago.
Thanks to these contributions, the regional government makes major investments to compensate environmental impacts of tourism on our islands.The tax has a specific purpose, in terms of the impact that revenue raised will have on expenditure and investments linked in essence with environmental development and protection of the Balearic Islands, and with sustainable tourism, and of which there are already precedents in other regions of Spain, such as Catalonia, along with other areas and other countries.
34 M€ have been collected on its first year of application (from July to December 2016. This money will be invested during 2017 in 46 local projects of environmental protection and improvement of water supply, cultural heritage, innovation and research, training improvement and better quality of employment in the tourism sector. For 2017 the Balearic Islands Government expects to reach around 64.6 M€.
Main stakeholders and beneficiaries of the practice are public administrations of the Balearic Islands (at regional, insular and local level) that have investment projects for which need funds.
Funds collected: 34 M€ in 2016 , 64.6M€ in 2017
Human resources required: too large to quantify (different public administrations involved)
Evidence of success
No evidence so far due to its recent implementation
No difficulties encountered except from some voices against its implementation coming from the hoteliers arguing that it is an unfair tax which disguises discrimination against non-residents, and that goes against the European law.
Potential for learning or transfer
This is a good practice potentially interesting for other regions to learn from, since it helps a territory to reinvest in the improvement of its tourist model and the industry.
Thanks to this funds, we are able to make major investments to compensate the territorial and environmental impact of tourism on the Balearic Islands.