Published On: Wed, May 24th, 2023
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Brits warned Canary Islands holiday prices could soar if new tax is imposed | UK | News

Holidays to the Canary Islands could become much more expensive under plans to impose a tourist tax in the archipelago.

Elections are due to take place on the Spanish islands this Sunday (May 28), with all 70 seats in the Canaries’ parliament up for grabs. Presidential candidate, José María Hernández, wants to introduce a levy aimed at reversing what he argues are the negative effects of tourism on the group of islands located off the coast of Morocco on the African mainland.

The Canary Islands – especially Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura, and Lanzarote – are a major tourist destination with over 12 million visitors per year. A tourism tax would come as a major blow to British holidaymakers, with whom the islands are a firm favourite.

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The Canaries attracted 1.4 million visitors from the UK in the first quarter of this year, according to Spain’s Ministry of Tourism. And

Canarian Nationalist Party (PNC) candidate, Mr Hernández, estimates that the tax would generate 300 million euros, which he says he’d divert into a “sovereign investment fund” of the Canary Islands government.

His party also supports a tax on “all-inclusive hotels”, which he argues do not promote the circular economy because, he claims, the money spent by visitors does not stay in local businesses. Such plans could also hit British tourists in the pocket if those hotels chose to pass the financial burden of an extra tax on to their guests.

The nationalist politician also wants to manage what he describes as “population burden” with a residence law that would require people to have lived in the territory for a certain amount of time before gaining access to services and the ability to buy property.

“When someone comes along and says that we have 2.2 million inhabitants… It’s a lie,” he told Canarias Ahora. “Every ten days we have 500,000 people rotating through these islands.

“You must have a certain period of stay in the Islands to buy a house or access our services.”

He added: “If I don’t limit the population, I will never be able to balance my services to the demand of the population.”

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