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Canary PSOE again raises issue of a tourist tax 

The Canary Islands are being urged to follow the example of Mallorca and Ibiza by introducing a tourist tax for the first time ever and putting a limit on holiday home rentals.

The two issues are at the centre of ongoing controversy in the Balearics where visitors face paying twice as much per night from this summer following the decision by the islands’ government to double the so-called ecotax. This will be an average of three euros a night. These increases alone will bring in an extra 120 million euros a year.

Harsh rules are also due to come into force in Mallorca to severely limit the number of private homes which are rented out to holidaymakers as the growing trend is being blamed for tourist saturation.

The Canaries have been liaising with the Balearics over a number of issues as the two archipelagos feel they share the same sort of problems.

Now, following a meeting in Palma between non-ruling Socialists, the Canary PSOE party is urging the government to consider introducing their own tourist tax and restrict holiday rents in the zones with the greatest pressure of demand.

Canary PSOE spokesperson Dolores Corujo said the islands could use the money for environmental protection, innovation, training and water sanitation.

“It’s about the citizens knowing where the money goes,” she said.

The Canaries attract 17 million tourists a year but unemployment is still at 21 per cent, a figure described by Dolores Corujo as “unaccep-table”.

The Canary Islands is one of the few holiday destinations which does not charge visitors a daily tourist tax and though the issue is raised on a regular basis, there are no plans to do so in the near future.

Hoteliers say it would be a great mistake to do so as it would seriously affect the competitiveness of the islands.