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Posted by portugalpress on November 05, 2018

Holidaymakers in the Algarve won’t mind paying the proposed tourist tax if the region offers quality, said Jorge Botelho, president of the Algarve municipalities association (AMAL), in an interview with diariOnline TV.

“The Algarve needs to improve a number of infrastructures in order to accommodate tourism, so it’s only fair that tourists contribute towards this as well,” said Jorge Botelho, who is also the Tavira mayor.

“From what we have been able to establish, tourists don’t mind paying (the tax) if they feel happy that the destination they are visiting provides them with quality experiences,” he explained.

The idea is that the revenue from the tax will be used to improve services or infrastructures that are used by tourists.

But as Botelho explains, the decision regarding what to do with the money will be in the hands of each municipality.

The tourist tax was approved by AMAL in September and will charge tourists €1.50 per day during the first seven days of their stay between March and October.

The bid was officially approved with favourable votes from all mayors except Rosa Palma from Silves, who called the tourist tax “a hoax” and said it will “create inequality in the region” and be “counterproductive”.

The tax has drawn strong criticism, most notably from the Algarve’s tourism boss João Fernandes and hoteliers association AHETA, who believe the region is ‘shooting itself in the foot’.

Elidérico Viegas from AHETA has even said the association will use “all legal means available” to stop the tax from being implemented.