High rental prices and ‘over-tourism’ force the authorities to bring in new measures.
High rental prices and ‘over-tourism’ in the capital of the Spanish island of Mallorca have pushed authorities into banning residents from renting out apartments to tourists.
Palma is the first city in Spain to make such a move, which comes into force in July, and any homeowners defying the ban face fines of up to €400,000.
The measures refer to flats in residential blocks, and it will still be possible to rent detached homes and villas if they are not in a protected area, the newspaper The Guardian reports.
Last summer, record-breaking numbers of arrivals in Spain, Italy and other popular European destinations led to multiple protests and fuelled the growing debate about over-tourism.
Many destinations in Spain are using new methods of reducing the impact that visitors can have on the lives of local residents.
The number of unlicensed apartments used by tourists in Palma increased by 50% between 2015 and 2017, according to the Spanish newspaper El Pais, pushing up rental prices for residents by 40%. Just 645 out of 20,000 apartments have the proper licence, it writes.
“We need some order”
“There is a parallel between the evolution of vacation rentals and the rise in rental prices,” planning chief José Hila tells El Pais. “We need some order.”
In Barcelona, laws have been tightened on property owners using Airbnb and HomeAway. Meanwhile, both Mallorca, which sees more than 10 million visitors a year, and Ibiza have introduced a cap on the number of tourist beds.