"It's just so impressive - the extra things you get from the tourism tax," says Archdruid Myrddin ap Dafydd, reflecting upon his holiday in Palma - the capital of Mallorca. This is the largest of the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean.

“We were paying £6 per room in tourism tax,” he told our sister title, Corgi Cymru.

“I took pictures of the things to be found in Mallorca due to charging the tax for only £3 per person.

The National Wales: Photo: Archdruid Myrddin ap DafyddPhoto: Archdruid Myrddin ap Dafydd

"There were lots of stations for you to fill up your water bottle for free, which also cut down on plastic.

"It shows how behind we are with these things.”

The National Wales: Photo: Archdruid Myrddin ap DafyddPhoto: Archdruid Myrddin ap Dafydd

And along every beach, he continued: “There were showers everywhere - not just one in the corner, but along every beach to wash yourself and to wash your feet when leaving.

"There were beach wheelchair stations so that people could be taken to the sea. Everything for free.

The National Wales: Photo: Archdruid Myrddin ap DafyddPhoto: Archdruid Myrddin ap Dafydd

"The money that’s raised from the tourism tax is spent locally. It's a local tax."

But here in Wales, he said: "The VAT all goes to London and we don't see it. But a tourism tax stays locally, improves services and makes the area more attractive to tourists.

"We are the ones currently maintaining services for tourists, rather than a tourism tax doing it."

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Offering an example, he said: "The Wales Coast Path - the Senedd funds that. The National Parks' funding comes out of the normal tax that’s levied in Wales."

"People have an expectation of services like this at home", Myrddin ap Dafydd argued, who's originally from the Conwy Valley but has settled on the Llŷn Peninsula.

"But we don't have the money to do it, do we? What we’re talking about is better wages and resources for our key workers. That’s what’s possible with a tourism tax, isn’t it - it can contribute more to the local economy.

“That's what we want to see - tourists contributing more."

The National Wales: Archdruid Myrddin ap Dafydd addresses the 2019 National Eisteddfod in Llanrwst. Photo: National EisteddfodArchdruid Myrddin ap Dafydd addresses the 2019 National Eisteddfod in Llanrwst. Photo: National Eisteddfod

A subject close to his heart, Myrddin ap Dafydd referred to key workers and tourism in his speech on June 25, at the ceremony which was held to announce the National Eisteddfod of Llŷn and Eifionydd 2023.

Here is a snippet of what the Archdruid said when he introduced the 2023 Eisteddfod which will be held in Boduan near Pwllheli.

"This will be a Welsh festival in a Welsh area. Yet we know that there’s no such thing as a stronghold for our culture anymore. It's all under pressure. What became clear during the pandemic was that the tourism we have in west Wales is not possible without a legion of key workers available to support those visitors and the services that are run for them.

“Without local doctors, nurses, the air ambulance, coastguard, wardens and trail workers, sea and mountain rescue teams, police, council workers, recycling services and everyone else – you can't sustain a tourist industry. Unlike the common phrase - 'we can't live without them' we saw a new truth: 'they can't come here on their holidays without us'. Us, which includes the key workers and all of us who pay taxes to support them.

READ MORE: 'Taxing and vexing times for Welsh tourism industry that should have more confidence'

“The only way we can value our key workers is by ensuring that they can get reasonable wages and homes in the areas they serve. Tourism must therefore contribute more to the local economy it is dependent upon.

“A tourism tax can be found in most countries and tourist areas of the world. This is the money that supports services such as tourist centres, public facilities, walking and cycling paths, blue flag beaches, beach showers, security teams and essential workers. They can't live without us and let us give them a chance to contribute to that.

“One way of addressing this would be for London to lower VAT. That 20% on top of everything goes straight to London - and as we know, hardly anything comes back. VAT in New Zealand (our new commercial partner) is 15%; 10% in the Bahamas; and there is no such tax in Gibraltar, Guernsey or the United States of America.

“No, Wales and her heritage are not for sale - and they are not to be shared for free either..."

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