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Cruise ship stays included in Balearics tourist tax proposals

Cruise ship stays included in Balearics tourist tax proposals
The Balearic government has drawn up a draft proposal to introduce a daily tourist tax, including for cruise ship passengers, visiting the West Mediterranean islands in 2016.

The news comes hot on the heels of a similar announcement by the New Zealand government which is planning a travel tax levy on visitors, including cruise ship passengers, from the beginning of 2016.

The Balearic tax will be scaled according to where visitors are staying and which time of the year but for cruise ships the charge will be €2 per day per head in high season, along with those staying in hotels rated above four-star. It will not apply to children under 14 years old.

The tax is expected to come into force once it has been passed by parliament and could be in place by next summer.

2015 is set to be a record year for cruise tourism in the ports of the Balearic Islands with almost 2m passengers expected, of which 1.7m will visit Palma on 550 calls. Ibiza port will receive over 200,000 cruise visitors, Mahon in Menorca 78,000, while the  ports of Alcudia in Majorca and La Savina in Formentera have eight and ten calls scheduled, respectively.

The government said the revenue generated by the tax will be invested in environmental protection, infrastructure improvement and in research and development in the tourism sector.

A similar tax, introduced in 2003, was scrapped after one year.