5 Apr, 2024 @ 09:45
1 min read

Malaga tourism boss says a tourist tax risks ‘destroying the goose that lays the golden eggs’

THE Junta de Andalucia is at odds with many of its provinces over the prospect of slapping a tourist tax on the millions of visitors who stream in each year.

Malaga Tourism Councillor Arturo Bernal warned during a parliamentary appearance of the risks that such a tax would entail, calling it ‘a tax against tourism.’

The councillor described the hypothetical collection of a tourist tax as ‘a cork that we want to put on a sector that is being put in the spotlight as a source of problems.’

“We are killing the goose that lays the golden eggs, we have to be careful with certain apocalyptic speeches,” Bernal declared, reminding his fellow councillors of the role that tourism plays in the region’s economy.

Bernal pointed out that the impact would ripple out far beyond just the hospitality sector to hit as many as 76 other industries that underpin the Andalucian economy.

Instead he called for better management of existing taxation, like the VAT from tourism which generates €2.5 billion in revenue, suggesting a more equitable distribution of current levies could be a solution.

“We need to be able to better manage the taxes that are already being collected,” he continued.

Councilor of Tourism, Sports and Culture, Arturo Bernal, who has come out against a tourist tax in Andalucia. CORDON PRESS

“The VAT applied to tourism generates an income of 2.5 billion euros, the key would be to better distribute what is already being collected.”

The politician also pointed out that ‘two-thirds of the tourists that Andalusia receives are national, and of them, half are Andalucians.’

“Would Andalucians have to pay this new tax?” he asked, adding that 84% of Andalucians surveyed were against new taxes on tourism.’

Yet, this perspective is not universally shared, with the left-wing parties (PSOE, Por Andalucía, and Adelante Andalucía) expressing their support of a tourist tax. 

They argue for measures to mitigate the harsh impacts of mass tourism and heed the mayors’ distress calls, including those from PP.

The socialist version was expressed by Isabel Aguilera, who said that the Bernal ‘appears half-hearted and forced by the PP mayors and the president of the Junta himself.’


Walter Finch

Walter - or Walt to most people - is a former and sometimes still photographer and filmmaker who likes to dig under the surface.
A NCTJ-trained journalist, he came to the Costa del Sol - Gibraltar hotspot from the Daily Mail in 2022 to report on organised crime, corruption, financial fraud and a little bit of whatever is going on.
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