MADRID could be edging its way to a new tourist tax after one of the mayoral candidates flip-flopped on the issue.

The cost would be imposed on tourists to Madrid already having to contend with paying €7 to enter Spain or the Schengen area as part of the ETIAS tourist tax starting in 2024.

Reyes Maroto, standing in next month’s municipal elections for PSOE, had said she intends to impose tougher restrictions on tourists coming to the Spanish capital.

But yesterday she denied she would include the extra cost in her manifesto but called for a ‘calm’ debate about doing so.

“I have not said that it will be in my mayoral program – it will not be,” Maroto said.

“But I am willing to open the debate.” 

The move was immediately attacked by the Madrid Hotel Business Association, who said that the tax would directly harm the sector as well as visitors.

Maroto recognised the criticism and said that, if she did go ahead with the tax, it would not be a ‘purely revenue-raising tax.’

But she did not indicate how much tourists would be obliged to cough up nor how it would be implemented.

A tourist tax for Madrid was previously floated in both 2015 and 208 but each time never made it past the drawing board.

However, a precedent has already been set by other Spanish cities including Barcelona, who have had a tourist tax in place since 2012.

The fee varies depending on the type of accommodation a tourist stays in, and was designed to counter overtourism in the Catalan capital.


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