By Jason Moore

THE local authorities have yet again announced a crackdown on holiday rentals and have taken the wrong route once more. The new tourism plan, which was unveiled last week, was a golden opportunity to try and find a way to regulate this lucrative part of the tourist industry. But rather than promising to work with the owners of holiday homes who want to legally rent out their houses, the local ministry for tourism has promised yet another crackdown which will damage the tourist industry and severely hit the real estate sector.

The local ministry for tourism is talking about a crusade but they should be talking diplomacy and working together. Hundreds of people bought homes on the island because they thought that they would be able to rent them out to help pay the mortgage. It helped fuel the property boom.

But now the local authorities have yet again promised a crackdown but at the same time will allow hotel chains to transform hotels into residential apartment blocks for the rental market. This smacks of double standards to me. The local ministry for tourism should put the necessary framework in place which will allow home ownbers to legally rent out their properties. If this legislation was in place it would certainly help the local property market and even, perhaps, get the local economy moving again. The local ministry for tourism should work with this sector rather than trying to penalise it.

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