Brit holiday warning as 'overcrowded' Spanish hotspot brings in new charge to rein in 'disrespectful' tourists | The Sun

A SPANISH holiday hotspot is set to bring in a new tourist charge to combat overcrowding and rein in "disrespectful" visitors.

Officials in Santiago de Compostela want to introduce a fee for travellers to remind people to be courteous during their trips.

As the Spanish city struggles to cope with a wave of visitors, concerns have been raised regarding the protection of historic landmarks.

The popular tourist destination is famed as the endpoint of the Pilgrim's Way, where a network of routes across Europe leads to.

Thousands of worshippers flock to the Baroque cathedral, with a whopping 439,000 people swarming the streets last year.

But city chiefs want the region to become more "breathable" as Santiago de Compostela has become overwhelmed by tourists.


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They hope to introduce a tax on hoteliers in 2025, with a proposed fee of between €0.50 and €2.50 per person.

Authorities say this could rake in sums of up to €3million per year, which would be used to protect the city's historic town centre.

Newly elected mayor Goretti Sanmartín, who wants to rebrand tourism in Santiago de Compostela, has spearheaded the scheme.

She told local media: "We want to enjoy a rich and prosperous tourism sector, but also a comfortable and breathable city."

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Ms Sanmartín emphasised the challenges of dealing with an influx of tourism, saying they need to increase "awareness" among the public.

She continued: "It's not so much the issue of the number of people who arrive, but of the people's knowledge of the fact that the basic norms of coexistence must be respected, and respect and care for the heritage must be guaranteed.

"It's more an issue of awareness that we have to address from the very beginning."

The mayor said the cash from the scheme would be used to improve sanitation, security, and historical heritage management.

A prior assessment conducted during the socialist Xosé Sánchez Bugallo's mandate suggested a hotel industry tax ranging from€0.50 and €2.50 per person.

But the implementation was deferred until 2025.

Expecting a revenue of €3million, they planned to use it to renovate the historic centre and to plug budget overruns in cleaning services, among other expenses.

Mayor Sanmartín said the material would be reviewed within 15 days and presented at a meeting with the Galician regional administration.

A similar charge has been brought in by officials in Bali to help preserve its culture, but at a higher fee of £7.50.

A string of Spain's popular destinations have already introduced tourist taxes to bolster their finances.

Local councils in the Valencia region have been given the go-ahead to apply a charge of up to €2 (£1.75) per person per night.

Popular resorts like Benidorm and the Costa Blanca, as well as the City of Valencia, could be affected, although Benidorm officials have said they don't wish to impose the tax.

Elsewhere, Barcelona has already increased its tourist tax price this year and has plans for a further rise next year.

The Catalan capital has had a tourist tax in place since 2012, but has since put prices up.

From April 2024, tourists be forking out €3.25 (£2.80) a night rather than €2.75 (£2.40).

Other cities could soon follow suit, with the capital Madrid also considering a tourist tax of its own.

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Meanwhile, the Balearic islands has had a tax in place for visitors since 2016.

Currently, tourists can pay approximately £3.50 a night, depending on the category of their accommodation and the time of year, meaning couples face paying an extra £50 for a seven-night holiday.

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