The chances are if you are flying to a Sun and Sea destination, it will be with a tax-dodging company. Do you recognize any of these names: Barceló, TUI or Melía? In English-speaking countries, these names may not be familiar. And you thought you were doing your best to avoid the tax dodging companies. Well, think again. The truth is that it’s hard to avoid the avoiders partly because families seek holiday savings in times of diminishing real salaries. Some of the tax avoidance windfalls may leak through into lower prices for families, at least in the short term. But these groups are so large and ubiquitous it is almost impossible to travel overseas without using one of their airlines, cruiseliners or hotels. Barceló touts 90+ direct companies, Melía has 144 companies and TUI AG has 677 direct and indirect subsidiaries. The vast range of seemingly independent tour operators and hotels is nothing more than an illusion of choice.
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