Spain's tourism industry concerned as new EU tax could affect British tourist numbers

Spain's tourism industry concerned as new EU tax could affect British tourist numbers

The United Kingdom is the main international market on the Costa del Sol, representing 30% of the passengers at Malaga Airport

PIlar MArtínez

Friday, 17 February 2023, 21:09


There are growing concerns among Spain's tourism industry after news of a new European Union tourist tax that would penalise the main international client of the Costa del Sol, the British.

The president of Spanish tourism industry strategy group Mesa del Turismo, Juan Molas, has expressed concerns about the creation of a new tourist tax for non-EU visitors who access the Schengen Area. The European Union could begin to apply this rate from November, under the name of the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS). The tax would require a payment of seven euros per non-EU tourist.

Molas pointed out that some details of this rate are still unknown. "We are going to establish contacts to find out more about this rate that would directly impact British tourism, our main market with 18 million arrivals in 2019 in Spain."

British tourists on the Costa del Sol exceeded 2.3 million in 2022, although this was still 19% below the figures before the pandemic.

The tax would come into effect just as a full recovery of the tourist market in Malaga is expected.

Molas also reacted to the news of Lufthansa airline's commitment to turning Rome Fiumicino airport into its new ‘hub' for intercontinental routes to Asia, America and Africa.

"This move would undermine the Madrid Barajas hub, which currently concentrates air traffic with Latin America and, consequently, would decrease the relevance of the Spain brand," he pointed out.

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