Francesc Colomer is not alone within the Botanic Government in his rejection of the tourist tax. In fact, he has found the best ally he could hope for, no less than in the person of the President of the Generalitat. And it is that Ximo Puig has decided to align himself both with his regional secretary and, above all, with the sector itself, stating that the tax is not a priority at the moment. The head of the Consell assures that his Executive has always been on the side of tourism, and that what is urgent at the moment is economic and social recovery.
Ximo Puig had to deal this Friday with what happened the previous day, when the launch of a platform against the imposition of the rate that taxes overnight stays, led by the Hotel and Tourism Business Association of the Valencian Community ( Hosbec) and endorsed by the Valencian Business Confederation (CEV). And not only that, but also with the declarations of the regional secretary of Tourism, Francesc Colomer, who had no qualms about supporting this initiative, again staging his disagreement with the tax promoted by the government to which he belongs.
Well, the president of the Consell, far from disagreeing, asserted that the tourist tax “is not a priority at all.” Puig, specifically, pointed out that “my position on this issue is that I have always been respectful of the separation of powers. The parliamentary groups have an agreement to study this issue and, therefore, I think there is a certain logic in developing it, always from the dialogue with all the actors involved.
However, he also wanted to make his position clear on the matter, indicating that the rate, “for me, is not a priority. At the moment the great priority of the Valencian agenda is the recovery from the pandemic and also the economic and social one ».
In addition, he wanted to send a message to the businessmen of the sector, indicating that «they know that they have our most absolute commitment. The latest has been the Benidorm Fest, which has been extraordinarily successful for the positioning of Benidorm itself and the Valencian Community. Therefore, it is not that we have to prove anything. We are demonstrating it every day with our endorsement for a sector that is essential for our economy.”
Meanwhile, the platform against the tax continues to gain support. On the afternoon of this Friday it already exceeded 1,900, a more than considerable figure if one takes into account that it had only accumulated two days since its launch. Among the signatories, different business and professional entities, as well as numerous individuals.
One of those who appears in the list is José María Caballé, president of one of the most important hotel groups in the Community, such as Servigroup, who did not hesitate to point out that “the tourist tax is an occurrence of some politicians who they know little about tourism and that it makes no sense to apply to hotels that already pay taxes, or to customers who already pay VAT. What the Administration has to do is take advantage of that money efficiently to improve the environment, just as we hoteliers invest in improving our facilities».
Another charge against Colomer: “He has empathy for the anguish of others”
The vice president of the Consell, Mónica Oltra, who does not stitch without thread, did not miss this Friday the opportunity offered by the questions of the journalists after the plenary session of the Consell to pronounce on the support of the regional secretary of Tourism, Francesc Colomer, to the platform against the tourist tax. With a certain ironic and sarcastic tone, Oltra charged against the high official of the Valencian Government, of which he highlighted his “extraordinary sense of empathy and that sensitivity he has for the anguish of others, which makes him very identified with the demands” of the sector. Of course, he acknowledged that he has not discussed this issue with the regional secretary and that the debate and negotiation on the tax on overnight stays corresponds to the Cortes, which, he assured, the Consell respects. “Mr. Colomer has expressed his opinion and now it’s up to the parliamentary groups to do the work,” he tried to settle before the insistent questions from informants on this issue.
Regarding the statements of the head of the Consell, Ximo Puig, who considers that the application of the tourist tax, which would be voluntary and municipal, is not a priority, Mónica Oltra assured that they agree on the “common point”, which is what which will eventually come out. However, the leader of Compromís once again made a statement in favor of the tax, which, she said, will give more quality to tourism and is a matter of fairness. “We have to be fair to the Valencians, that when we go abroad we pay for it, but when they come here, we don’t,” he concluded.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.