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Mallorca gets tough new tourism-control law


It seems as if half the world wants more tourists to boost the economy, while those who have the most are getting very tired of them, leading to protests and restrictions in many popular places.

Mallorca and Ibiza in the Spanish Balearic Islands have now possibly outdone all the rest with new regulations capping the number of tourist beds, banning all rentals in residential buildings until new rules are written, and imposing fines that could reach €400,000 for violators.

The islands have long been heavily patronized by summer tourists, and have seen even more in recent years as North African and Middle Eastern sun spots have had issues with terrorism and instability. While the added visitors have helped Spain's economy recover to pre-slump levels, locals feel they are being pushed out of affordable housing.

The new regulations set a cap of a bit over 600,000 tourist beds (1 bed x 10 days=10 for this purpose). While free-standing and rural properties are exempt from the ban on rentals in residential buildings, they must be registered and licensed, as must all other rentals. Renting or listing without a license will trigger the big fines. It's on Airbnb and Homeaway to ensure their listings comply.

The plan for new rules and defined tourist-rental zones is expected to take at least a year to develop. But once the zones are set up, licenses will be issued only in buildings that meet safety regulations and have the consent of neighbors' associations.

The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

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Nothing quite like throttling the hand that feeds you.

A quick check revealed that tourism is the island's #1 industry and that 80% of the island's economy (GDP) involves tourist-related activities.  Agriculture (wine, cheese. etc) is a distant second.

Perhaps in light of Europe's imploding native-born population there is an inadequate workforce to service the tourists on the island.  But it seems to me they might be better served creating places for tourists to stay (esp out of the cities) and an infrastructure to support them than to keep them away.  People have a sense of knowing when they're not welcome and slogans like the title image for this post will encourage many of them to look elsewhere.

Twitter: @DrFumblefinger

"We do not take a trip, a trip takes us".  John Steinbeck, from Travels with Charlie

I'm sure these protests are accomplishing some of their aims, even without legislation, but perhaps at greater cost than they know.

But the issue is real, especially in terms of housing. The new regulations, which do exempt rural areas, seem to agree with you.

The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

Mallorca is affordable and within easy access to all Europeans.

And with most Europeans having 4 - 6 weeks of vacation time a year they leave a large footprint.  Its the same all over Europe. Property goes to the highest bidder.

You either encourage tourism or deny it.

Mallorca has always been a "Party Island"

For at least 50 years !!


Last edited by GarryRF
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