15 Mar, 2024 @ 14:00
1 min read

Tourist tax in Spain: Leaders of Malaga, Sevilla and Cordoba call for new levy on visitors

MALAGA’S mayor Francisco de la Torre has joined his counterparts in Cordoba and Sevilla in calling for a tourist tax to be levied in Andalucia.

They feel it would be useful to pay for projects to cope with tourist saturation in cities popular with visitors.

Catalunya and the Balearic Islands both impose a tourist levy while the Valencian Community last year scrapped plans for the tax to be introduced in the region this year.

Francisco de la Torre said: “I have always declared myself in favour of it.”

“A tourist even if he contributes indirectly with his expenses through taxes and revenue on spending is enjoying city facilities paid for by residents,” he added.

Tourist taxes elsewhere are charged on accommodation with rates decided on the type of rooms and hotel star gradings.

The Malaga mayor stated that any new tax must be introduced with the ‘consensus’ of the tourism sector which should aim at tourism quality and maintaining local heritage.

A debate over an Andalucia tourist tax ignited this week with Cordoba mayor, Jose Maria Bellido, who is also president of the Andalucian Federation of Municipalities and Provinces, suggesting that he did not rule it out in the near future.

Sevilla mayor, Jose Luis Sanz, has also backed the introduction of such a levy.

The Tourism Business Council of the Confederation of Entrepreneurs of Andalucia has come out against it saying that it would ‘negatively affects the competitiveness of the sector and the regional economy as a whole’.

Andalucia’s Minister of Tourism, Arturo Bernal, said that the Junta de Andalucía is willing to sit down and talk ‘with anyone’ about a tourist tax.

He however stated that a consensus must be reached with the tourist sector which he emphasised ‘doesn’t exist at the moment’.

Alex Trelinski

Alex worked for 30 years for the BBC as a presenter, producer and manager. He covered a variety of areas specialising in sport, news and politics. After moving to the Costa Blanca over a decade ago, he edited a newspaper for 5 years and worked on local radio.

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