VALENCIA – The tourism industry is at war with the regional government over the bill to levy a tax on tourist stays. The platform #noalatasaturistica collected 1,750 signatures against the proposed tourist policy within 24 hours.
The Valencian Business Confederation (CEV) has joined the platform #noalatasaturistica (no to the tourist tax) through the website noalatasaturistica.com. Thereby, thousands of businessmen, professionals, individuals, institutions and entities from both the economic and social spectrums have joined. Furthermore, if you want to, you can read the manifesto against the initiative here and sign it.
The initiative to levy a tourist tax is promoted by the Valencian government parties PSPV-Compromís-Unides Podem. These parties are currently trying to reach an agreement with the sector on the bill.
The regional employers’ organisation believes that this tax jeopardises the recovery of tourism in Valencia. In doing so, CEV is looking for business and social support against this tax that ‘would affect the competitiveness of the sector in the current context’.
Better focus on increasing quality
The CEV says that in a time of recovery there is no room for an increase in the tax burden. “The government should aim their policy at increasing quality, improving the tourism product and facilitating the arrival of tourists. Under no circumstances should the government at this time impose a tax increase that could negatively affect the recovery and improve the competitiveness of the Valencia region,” the statement reads.
Tourist tax is counterproductive to industry recovery
CEV also warns that it would be counterproductive to tourism spending in the region. The sector is just recovering from the severe impact of the pandemic on business and is “a long way from recovering employment levels and billing from pre-crisis levels”. Experts do not expect a recovery until 2024, provided that the evolution of the pandemic is positive.
‘Fiscal pressure for Valencians even higher’
In this vein, employers fear that the tax will have a ‘perverse’ effect on promoting the shadow economy. Property owners could opt not to register all overnight stays to avoid the tax. In addition, the tourist tax would increase the fiscal pressure of Valencians ‘even more’. This is already ‘11.7 points above the national average’.
Tourist tax represents ‘disrespect and ridicule for industry’
Toni Mayor, president of HOSBEC, emphasizes that the application of a tourist tax is “the greatest disrespect and ridicule for the tourism industry, which represents 15% of the region’s GDP. This industry can never be relocated, nor move to other countries with lower costs or more economic aid”.