Friday 8th October 2021 – VICENTE BOLUFER with Mike Smith
In a harsh statement, members of the Marina Alta Business Circle (CEDMA) has conveyed their fear of the possible consequences of a “Tourist Tax” on the region, a levy which is currently under debate in the Comunidad Valenciana.
They explained that “most of the economic activities in the Marina Alta were severely affected during the lockdown and the subsequent pandemic regulations. But if there was a clearly damaged sector, it was tourism. The closures and restrictions – some of which still persist today – have been a tough challenge for all workers, self-employed and entrepreneurs in the sector”.
In this sense, the statement explains that “vaccinations and the reduction in restrictions in recent months have managed to keep many companies afloat. Others were lost on the way. Being able to work normally is better than any help that can be given from the public purse, since these have been scarce”. It added that “however, at a time when everything is about to return to normal and [places are open] according to the licenses, without the restrictions imposed by anti-COVID measures, it is absurd to consider the imposition of a ‘tourist tax’ for the following reasons”:
- The sector is not totally out of the woods. Just because summer has gone well does not mean that winter will be good. Unfortunately, the sector is a long way from achieving the desired “seasonal adjustment” with all that this implies.
- Business costs have skyrocketed. Continuous increases in electricity and gas affect the entire population whilst companies must remain open and at full capacity just when the rates are more expensive, in addition to the recent modifications of the minimum wage – together with the increase in base salary – an increase in social contributions and in the contributions of the self-employed.
Thus, CEDMA claim that: “With these factors at stake, the imposition of a” tourist tax “could harm a sector that in 2019 accounted for 15.5% of the GDP of the Comunidad Valenciana and [a region] that is currently in the process of recovery”.