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Hoteliers in Spain’s Valencia region have slammed the potential tourist tax plans. They said “nobody wants and nobody is going to implement it”.
The proposed tax would be charged to tourists on a nightly basis and the regional Government wants to introduce it next year.
However, individual councils will have a choice over whether to implement the tax or not.
Tourism officials in Benidorm have already said they will not apply the tax to visitors to the resort.
Other areas have now joined the campaign against the tourism tax, calling it “absurd and incomprehensible”.
The Hosbec hotel association has called on the Valencian Government to ditch the tourist tax plans.
They have said the industry is already suffering from the impact of the Russian invasion, inflation and energy costs.
Hosbec president, Toni Mayor, said: “A new stick cannot be added in the form of a tourist tax.
“Tourism businessmen do not believe the stubbornness of certain politicians in Valencia who continue with their revenge against everything that smacks of tourism and who want to impose a new tax on tourist stays in the worst economic moment that the Valencian, Spanish and world economy is going through in decades.”
Hoteliers said the tax would send a message that tourists are not wanted in Valencia and damage the industry.
Mayor added that the taxes were being proposed by people from a “wealthy world” who didn’t know how people were suffering.
He said: “They are wasting time and our money entertaining themselves by ruining the tourist campaign.
“We should save ourselves the bad image we are giving. With this tax message, a feeling is being generated that tourists are annoying and are not well received, quite the opposite of the spirit of hospitality in which we have been working for the last seven years.”
The mayor of Valencia, Joan Ribó, has defended the tourist tax. He said that taxes have never put tourists off.
Mayor said: “It only demonstrates Valencia’s city council’s animosity against everything that smacks of tourism and progress that they are not interested in at all.”
Benidorm, Alicante and the wider Costa Blanca area are all part of the Valencia region and will have the option to implement the tax.
The tax is likely to vary based on the quality of the accommodation booked with campers and those staying in hostels paying the least.
Tourist taxes are fairly common around the world and are already in place in Barcelona and parts of the Balearics.
Tourists also need to pay a tax to visit some French and Italian cities which are sometimes included in the price of a hotel stay.
Venice has proposed a new tourist tax for daytrippers while Thailand is also considering one.
Wales is also considering implementing a tourist tax although there is some strong opposition to the idea.
Additional reporting by Rita Sobot.
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