The city of Málaga is reported to be considering the introducing a tax on tourists. The city council has asked for a study on how this could be applied to visitors but the idea is already being strongly opposed.
Councillors last month decided unanimously to ask for an examination of the regulatory framework which would be necessary for such a move. A previous proposal by members of the Unidas Podemos party to charge a tax of €1 per visitor was rejected but has resulted in a debate between councillors, political parties and the tourist sector.
Such a move is not new in Spain. In the Balearic Islands, tourists are already charged a tax of between €1 and €4 per night, while visitors to Barcelona must pay between 45 cents and €2.25 per night. The city of Sevilla is also seeking to introduce such a charge while Valenica says it will introduce the tax next year.
However, only last month, the president of the opposition Partido Popular, Alberto Nunez Feijoo, voiced his disagreement with tourist taxes when he visited Benidorm where their introduction is being vigorously opposed by the tourism sector. The city’s association of hoteliers has described the policy as a “punishment” as well as being “irresponsible” and “reckless.”
Málaga’s mayor last month said that if the tax were to be introduced in his city, it would be “applied to attracting tourism of the highest quality, which is what improves the coexistence of tourism with the city.”