Balearic Islands seek to tackle tourism boom

The Balearic Islands´government has introduced measures to control and restrict the level of tourism on the islands.

The Spanish islands, including the popular destinations of Mallorca and Ibiza, have experienced a boom in tourism for years in succession.

In particular both Mallorca and Ibiza represent two of the most popular holiday destinations in Europe.

Mallorca

Many private property owners now rent out their homes to holidaymakers.

This has proven to be very lucrative and homeowners earn significantly more rental income than by renting to long term tenants.

The rise of property websites, such as AirBnb has made the rental process easy to manage.

Local residents have long been complaining of experiencing difficulty in finding suitable and affordable accommodation in which to live.

The long term rental prices in Mallorca have risen by 40% in just 5 years.

Valldemossa, Mallorca

Since 2012, in the Balearic Islands private property owners require a tourism licence in order to rent out their property as a holiday let.

Many homeowners are renting without the licence. It is estimated that as many as 15,000 properties in the Balearics Islands are rented out illegally.

The government now plan to limit the nightly number of beds available across the Balearic Islands to 623,624.  This figure covers all the islands, with Mallorca and Ibiza taking the majority of the beds.

The accommodation takes into account both hotels and private properties.

Palma de Mallorca

No new tourism licences will be issued for at least 12 months.

Property owners found to be renting their property as a holiday let without a licence will face a potential fine of up to €40,000.

The property portals are now under pressure to regulate themselves and have to request confirmation that each Balearic property on their site is a legal holiday let.  The websites face heavy fines of up to €400,000 for violations.

Large companies and institutions which own empty properties will be required to offer them for rental after 2 years as a further attempt to ease the pressure on the property market.

The government of the Balearics is seeking to find a balance between a sustainable level of tourism (approximately 30% of jobs on the islands are tourism based) and normal living conditions for local residents.

It remains to be be seen how effectively the controls will be implemented and the affect on house prices and rental prices.

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