New austerity measures announced in Spain
this week are set to push holiday product prices through the roof - affecting millions of British tourists.
is the most popular destination for UK families and the increased sales taxes will affect around 15 million holidaymakers a year.
From 1 August, the tax on food and drink in hotels, bars and restaurants will rise by two percentage points to 10%, along with hotel room charges.
The VAT will go up by three percentage points to 21% on many items like clothing, sunglasses, and cigarettes.
According to the report in the Daily Mail
, a family now paying £1,080 for a two-week hotel stay would see the cost go up £20 to £1,100. If a holidaymaker spent £590 on items subject to VAT, that would go up to £605, an increase of £15.
The tax hikes will no doubt put up the cost of package holidays to Spain
, and the country's Tourism Commission warned the sector could lose £1.7 billion owing to the tax rises announced by Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy.
However, amidst the bad news, The Sunday Times
recently highlighted a positive for the British holidaymaker.
As the financial crisis has left less Spanish people able to travel, some four and five star hotels have been offering much lower prices
Ted Wake of Kirker Holidays told the Sunday Times: "Numerous hotels, especially in the south, have been dependent on rich people coming from Madrid and the north for the summer. These clients aren't booking this year, and the hotels have decided to make dramatic cuts in order to generate turnover."
Spanish hotel rates plunge
Discover more options for your annual family getaway here:
- 9. Corralejo, Fuerteventura, Canary Islands
Corralejo,the largest of Fuerteventura's resorts, is a beach lover's dream. Town Beach is singled out by Tripadvisor reviewers as a perfect spot for families because of its calm waters, while breezier Flag Beach and Glass Beach are a 'paradise' for windsurfers and kitesurfers.</p>
- 8. Playa del Ingles, Gran Canaria
The largest resort on Gran Canaria was developed in the Sixties specifically as a tourist area and it's remained popular ever since. There's something for everyone, from families to honeymooners, nude sunbathers, to hippies... and it gets the thumbs up from all.</p>
- 7. Antalya, Turkey
This is the fastest growing city in Turkey, not least because of its booming tourism industry. Tourists from around the world are drawn here for the fab beaches as well as the traditional Turkish culture. Konyaalti Beach is described as 'heaven on earth' by one reviewer. The only complaint seems to be that the sea is a "little bit salty". Hmm...</p>
- 6. Albuferia, Algarve, Portugal
With 20 different beaches to choose from, Albufeira is praised as a "charming" holiday destination. The cliffs are magnificent, the outlook wonderful and Falesia Beach is singled out in particular: "straight out of a film" says one reviewer.</p>
- 5. Benidorm, Spain
Yes, it's still up there as one of the favourites for Brits. The beaches surrounding this holiday mecca are bustling with activities including waterskiing and scuba diving. Levante Beach is praised for its cleanliness, while reviewers recommend Poniente Beach for a calmer alternative to the buzzing Benidorm atmosphere.</p>
- 4. Bournemouth, England
Seven miles of beach and its own warm microclimate make Bournemouth the UK's favourite beach destination, according to Tripadvisor reviewers, who praise it for its stunning cleanliness and "amazing views", although one complained that it was "too far away from the shops". </p>
- 3. Puerto Alcudia, Majorca
With velvety white stretches of sand along five miles of gentle waters, Puerto Alcudia is the longest beach on the island. Reviewers say the gem of the beach at Aucanada is great for families, and one of the most beautiful parts of the resort, although it can get crowded: "Bring your own sunbed" says one. </p>
- 2. Icmeler, Turkey
The lack of a booming nightclub scene is a huge plus for the travellers who've discovered this beach resort. Boat trips, great seafood cafes and "quiet and relaxing" atmosphere are among the reasons they return here, but one reviewer advises getting to the beach early in peak season in order to get a bed by the sea - and they recommend bartering for the price.</p>
- 1. Olu Deniz, Turkey
The waters surrounding the small village of Olu Deniz, including the famous Blue Lagoon, are a beautiful gradient of sapphire blue, and the beach is described by Tripadvisor reviewers as "simply stunning", with a spectacular setting. Reviewers say it gets overcrowded in peak season and can also be pricey: many recommend the local beaches nearer the town for more space.</p>
- 10. Puerto Del Carmen, Lanzarote, Canary Islands
Lanzarote's largest resort area offers some of the island's best beaches, with calm waters all year round. The coast is a succession of lovely sandy stretches interspersed with small rocky outcroppings, including the little cove of Pena Grande, with fine white sand.</p>
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