The holidays let’s say they’re not to blame

The seasonal rental sector in Mallorca and the Balearic Islands, while siding with hoteliers to oppose any increase in tourist tax, insists it is being unfairly held responsible for tourist overcrowding.

This is in response to the fact that the Federation of Hoteliers of Mallorca has criticized the Balearic Government and other institutions for their “manifest inability” to manage tourist flows and have allowed an “exponential growth” of vacation rentals beds over the past ten years – 85,000 compared to 29,000 hotel places over the past 21 years.

The manager of the Habtur holiday rental association Maria Gibert says ‘we haven’t grown much and in fact we’re shrinking very rapidly due to the moratorium and the permanent decline of old places’. She adds that it was “logical” that vacation rental places increased the most, since they were the last to be legally integrated into the tourist accommodation offer.

For Gibert, there are other factors that explain overcrowding, such as population growth and the sale of homes to foreign buyers. Where she agrees with hoteliers is in pointing the finger at “deficient and obsolete” infrastructure and “a disastrous public transport network”.

As for an increase in tourist tax in 2023 (proposed by Més and Podemos), Gibert believes that this is a “hasty and unreasonable” proposal. It would be a mistake to make such a decision based on the current year, which has been characterized by conditions that have resulted in particularly high visitor arrivals. “The situation has made this year a record year, but next season will not be the same.”

Jordi Cerdó, President of the FEATV federation, agrees that there will be more moderate figures in 2023. The solution is not to increase the tax but to reduce the number of accommodation places, which must not be those of federation affiliates, ” since we only represent 15% of existing places”.

He criticizes the hotel federation’s references to the vacation rental industry and blames hoteliers for the bulk of the blame. “In the 1960s, hotels were growing at a rate of 500% per year. They were springing up like mushrooms and I can say that because I was a hotelier. We are tired of hearing lies and slander.”