Ecotax Spain: pay more for your hotel?

Anyone who goes on holiday to the islands of Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza or Formentera from 1 July 2016 can count on an extra bill from the hotel. From that date onwards, an additional tourist tax will be levied, also known as the eco tax. The local government would use this income to protect the environment, but they seem to mainly want to benefit from the increasing popularity of Spain as a holiday destination. Dutch travel organizations are furious about the new tax that makes holidays to Spain extra expensive.

Eco tax Spain

  • What is the eco tax?
  • Who has to pay the eco tax?
  • Pay at the hotel
  • What to do if you have already booked?


What is the eco tax?

called the ecotax in the Netherlands is an extra tourist tax that must be paid from the summer of 2016 by tourists visiting certain parts of Spain. This additional tax only applies to the Balearic Islands. The regional government of this area passed a bill on this in January 2016. The intention is that this Ecotaxa will generate at least 50 million euros in additional tax revenue for the government of the country in dire economic times in 2016 and 70 to 80 million euros in 2017. Officially, the purpose of tax revenue is to protect the environment, but this is openly doubted by many media. The government is accused of wanting to take advantage of Spain’s popularity as a holiday destination due to the increasing insecurity in other holiday countries such as Turkey, Tunisia, Egypt and Israel.

Who has to pay the eco tax?

The new tourist tax applies to everyone aged 16 and over who visits one of the islands of Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza or Formentera. The tax amounts to 0.50 to 2 euros per overnight stay, depending on the time of year and the type of accommodation in which you stay. From the eighth night onwards the amount is halved. If you stay in a hostel, there will be an additional cost of 0.50 per night. For luxury resorts it will be 2 euros per night.

Pay at the hotel

The additional costs that must be paid to hotels in the Balearic Islands are not included in the travel price that you paid if you previously booked a package holiday through a travel agency or if you booked a hotel yourself via the internet. The hotel will ask you to pay the costs separately upon arrival or departure. Travel organizations are faced with the task of informing their customers that they will incur an additional cost item on top of the costs they have already paid.
Calculation example
The amount that must be paid extra may not seem high, but imagine that you go on holiday to Mallorca for fifteen days during the high season with four people aged 16 or older. In the worst case, you pay the following amount:4 x 8 x 2 = 64 euros for the first eight nights4 x 7 x 1 = 28 euros for the second part————— ————————————————– ——-92 euros extra costs

What to do if you have already booked?

The Ecotaxa became final in January 2016. People who have already booked their summer holidays before then did so without knowing the extra costs. Because this policy is a matter for the Spanish (local) government, in principle no rules have been violated that entitle you as a traveler to, for example, cancel your trip. The travel industry has reacted furiously to the introduction of the eco tax. They also don’t like having to disappoint their customers.
If you are concerned about the tourist tax that you have to pay on your already booked trip or if it is a matter of principle for you, you can try to contact the travel organization with which you booked. They may be willing to help you by rebooking your trip to another destination free of charge. It is clear that travel organizations also want to send a signal to Spain that you cannot treat people like this. Such an action was successful in 2002 . Also then, an additional tourist tax was introduced for the Balearic Islands. Because travel organizations feared that this would cost tourists, they protested. The tax measures were then reversed under pressure from the travel industry.

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