Tourism tax may be introduced in the Canary Islands to protect ecosystems.
The Canary Islands, including prime holiday destinations such as Tenerife, Lanzarote, Gran Canaria and Fuerteventura are considering imposing a Sustainable Tourism Tax. The tax is in a bid to protect the precious eco-systems and minimise overcrowding on the islands. The proposals come after other Spanish holiday destinations, Ibiza and Mallorca, introduced the tax in 2016.
The proposal was put forward by the non-ruling party, Canary PSOE, who have urged the government to act fast. The Canary Islands are a holiday hotspot, which has seen the increasing pressure and demands of tourism on the islands in terms of over-saturation and damage to the ecology. Canary PSOE believes an introduction of a tourist tax and a reduction in the number of holiday homes in the region will help.
Canary PSOE believe using the money earned through taxing holidaymakers to protect the landscapes and famous landmarks that attract tourists in the first place, will help to make sure tourists keep coming, but in smaller numbers. However, some travel firms believe imposing a tax will deter visitors completely. In the case of the Balearic Islands, they are already looking to double the Sustainable Tourism Tax they charge, which may concern tourists for the rising costs of their holidays.
With Spain and the Spanish islands being such popular holiday destinations thanks to its sunshine, culture and low costs, many locals believe a small tourist tax could go a long way in preserving the ecosystems and lessening the impact on the landscape as a result of tourism. With around 13.3 million tourists visiting the Canary Islands every year, it remains to be seen whether a tourist tax will hinder visitor numbers.