Spanish backlash brewing after tourist tax and price hikes

Spain faces a backlash from British holidaymakers in the face of a tourist tax in the Balearics and potential price hikes by hoteliers.

The warning came today from Travelzoo despite the head of the Balearic Islands tourism pledging not to raise the bed tax which was imposed last July and starts at €1 per night, per adult.

Travelzoo fears that the tourist tax and potential price rises in the face of bogus sickness claims by Britons could be counter-productive as lesser known low cost eastern Mediterranean destinations gain popularity.

A spokeswoman said: “With nearly 18 million Britons visiting last year, Spain has never had it so good when it comes to Britons flocking to its shores.

“Spain is the top tourist destination for British travellers, and recent concerns about safety in other countries has further cemented its place as the preferred holiday hotspot.

“But, whilst Spain is more popular than ever, Travelzoo is hearing that other destinations such as Croatia and Montenegro are starting to rise in popularity, as the downside of the high demand for Spain is increasing hotel and flight prices pushing holiday costs there up around 20% compared to last summer.

“Added to the proposed tourist tax, Britons also risk being penalised for the alleged 700% increase in sickness claims made against Spanish hotels by British tourists in the past 12 months.

“Hoteliers in Spain are considering banning British tourists from all-inclusive packages or hiking the cost of all-inclusive holidays.”

She added: “Should the tax and the all-inclusive ban or price hike go ahead Spain could see a backlash from the UK market.

“Tourism from Britain is worth more than €16 billion annually so denting enthusiasm from UK tourists is a high-risk strategy.

“As more affordable countries gain exposure and popularity, Spain should think carefully before giving British tourists another reason to look elsewhere.”

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