Spain rejects new 'rules' for UK tourists in massive victory for Brits

Spanish locals have rejected a tourist tax in a huge win for British visitors. Tourists will not be faced with a visitor tax following a unanimous rejection by the regional government in a top Spanish destination, it emerged today, ahead of the spring and the summer getaway season.

The Andalusian Regional Government, the Andalusian Federation of Municipalities and Provinces (FAMP) and the Confederation of Businessmen of Andalusia (CEA) met on Monday in Malaga to discuss the tourist tax and unanimously rejected any imposition.

"We think it is premature to talk about a tax without knowing its impact", said Arturo Bernal, the Andalusian Minister of Tourism. José María Bellido, mayor of Córdoba and president of the FAMP, argued that this initiative “rather than supporting the cities” was instead seeking political or electoral gain.

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Councillors admitted they were in favour of the “tourist contributing to spending with this tax and indirectly returning the enjoyment of the city”. Bellido said he “listened to and attended” concerns and said: "We understand that any decision could have undesirable effects if we don't get it right.”

The aim of the tax - which follows similar schemes in the likes of Venice, Paris, Lisbon and more - come to clamp down and crackdown on what is perceived to be “binge tourism”. “It generates an image that is not the one we want and also indirectly is an extra cost for public services,” he said.

"It is not so much a problem of financing, but rather that the town councils are beginning to have the feeling that they cannot control it due to problems of social and cultural sustainability," he said. Employers’ association Comercio Andalucía, has expressed their “favourable” stance on the introduction of a tourist tax.

In a statement they say, “you only have to apply common sense to realise that the existence or not of a tourist tax is not a determining factor for tourists or visitors when choosing their destination”.