DEAR SIR,

RE: Fresh Crack down on Illegal Holiday lets

PLEASE will someone educate the island's hotel industry? Holiday-makers looking to rent accommodation for their holidays will not resort to hotels if they can't find this type of accommodation – they will simply go elsewhere. Let me repeat that, they will go to other holiday destinations where they can rent accommodation because that's the way they like to holiday.

They don't want to holiday in hotels because they want the freedom to choose their meal times, choose what they do in an environment that gives them flexibility and has more privacy. They are probably big users of the low budget airlines that also afford them the flexibility they demand. It's not that difficult to understand surely? They also eat out more, hire cars and explore the island rather than confine themselves to a hotel complex - so their discretionary holiday expenditure benefits other island businesses more broadly as well. Cracking down on this activity will have a knock-on effect.

The property market has also prospered and expanded as buyers have bought holiday homes with a significant number choosing to rent them out to cover their annual running costs. By all means tax this income at an appropriate level and maintain quality standards - but make it easy to administrate for property owners. Unless of course the Government wants the property market to contract even further than it already has done this year and are happy to discourage these kinds of property buyers in the future. They too will sell up and guess what – they will go elsewhere where they have the freedom to create an income from their holiday home easily.

So by all means recoup the appropriate income tax and by all means protect holiday renters from the rogue element - but don't seriously believe that the hotel industry's occupation levels will increase as a result of this new legislation. It won't. The industry's understanding of consumer behaviour is sadly lacking and out of touch again, as it was when it reacted to the All-Inclusive holiday concept for example. The consumer is king and ignore this at your peril.

Yours sincerely,

Andy Pratt

Palma

DEAR SIR,

IN yesterdays Viewpoint (Thursday) Jason Moore refers to the formation of a new apolitical association “Europeos por Europa” and hopes that this lobby group will get all the non-Spanish Europeans together under one banner.

Perhaps we should start by getting all the lobby groups together. “Ciudadanos Europeos” formed in 1992 and Circulo Europa” formed in 2000 both set off with some steam. Still functioning they come to mind as being very similar to Europeos having broadly the same objectives. Ciudadanos also has the same honorary president as Europeos – Kate Mentink, Calvia Councillor and prominent member of the conservative political group the Partido Popular. Perhaps some consolidation would be appropriate before confusing the foreign resident population further with another tongue- tying alliteration.

Mike Lillico,

Playa de Palma

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