Costa Blanca rage at tourist tax as Alicante says it is ‘betting on’ British tourists

Hotel Benidorm: Chef discusses why Brits love the region

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The local Government had proposed to introduce a tourist tax in the Valencia region in 2023. The tax would require tourists to pay a small fee every time they visit the popular region.

Benidorm has already said it has no intention of introducing the tourist tax and now other resorts are fighting back.

Tourism officials have said they don’t support the tax and launched a protest at a recent international travel fair.

Many hoteliers feel a tourist tax would make the region less competitive compared to other Spanish hotspots.

They added that it would do nothing at all to help the struggling tourist industry after the pandemic.

Opponents of the tax said it was motivated by political reasons and “beyond” their understanding.

A spokesperson for the hotel industry said: “Since there is no economic or tax reason to justify this initiative, we can only think that there are other political interests behind this proposal that is beyond our scope and capacity of understanding.”

The tax would be voluntary and most of the Costa Blanca resorts have said they will refuse to implement it.

Alicante’s provincial president and head of the Costa Blanca Tourist Board, Carlos Mazón said 90 percent of the hotel beds in the municipality would not be imposing the tourist tax.

He added that regaining British tourists this year was a key priority for Alicante’s tourism industry.

He said: “We continue betting on British tourism through contacts and meeting now that some of the travel restrictions are beginning to be relaxed.”

Benidorm’s mayor, Toni Pérez says the popular British resort will “never ever” impose the tourist tax.

Pérez said: “The Government of Benidorm, in tune with what is maintained by the sector has always defended the ‘no and never’ approach to the tourist tax.

“It generates more uncertainty in a sector that has always been a tractor and a locomotive, offering great returns to the gross domestic product of the Valencian community.

“The introduction of the tourist tax is contrary to the model of the Valencian community.

“We do not understand that forcing a visitor to pay a fee is the best letter of introduction or example of hospitality that can be given

“Sustainable, responsible and quality tourism has been practiced day by day and for decades in this region in destinations such as Benidorm, and that has little or nothing to do with penalising the sector and the activity of introducing a tax that does not solve anything.

“Benidorm will not apply it.”

The proposed tax is expected to charge tourists between 0.5 and 2 euros (42p-£1.67) per night depending on their type of accommodation.

Children under 16 and pensioners on health holidays to the area would be exempt from the tax.

The area is extremely popular with British tourists and many visit the Costa Blanca every year.

Tourist taxes are already in place in some areas of Spain, including Barcelona and some parts of the Balearic islands.

Additional reporting by Rita Sobot.

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