Amidst all the talk about how tourist tax revenue should or shouldn’t be spent, it is often forgotten that the tourism ministry has a fund for tourism infrastructure that predates the tax.
This fund is known as the “Borsa d’Allotjaments Turístics”. The money that goes into the fund is what is paid for tourist accommodation places. Originally it was set up when hotel places, which had not been “regularised”, underwent the process of being made legitimate. Since then, it has been topped up by the charge levied for any new accommodation places.
The cash from this fund goes towards projects that are, generally speaking, more recognisable as being directly related to tourism, which isn’t the case with the tourist tax. There are periodic calls for project proposals (all from town halls) to be presented. The last one was in 2014. There has now been another one.
A total of 16.5 million euros was available, but only 15.48 million euros are being allocated. One reason for this is that a number of town halls didn’t bother making any applications; Pollensa is an example. The rules of the awards mean that there can be no more than two projects per municipality and that the fund will provide a maximum of 500,000 euros per project. Town halls have to make up the additional funding, which can explain why some decided not to apply.
Only three town halls – Calvia, Sant Llorenç and Santa Margalida – have applied for the whole one million. They have been granted this amount. In fact all the projects have been awarded the amounts asked for.
The most expensive single project is in Alcudia. A redevelopment of the calle Teodor Canet, the main road in the port area, will cost 1.52 million euros. Alcudia town hall will therefore be spending 1.02 million euros of its own money.