Palma.—While the debate over the so-called illegal renting of holiday apartments rages, a new holiday trend is booming in Spain and may also upset hoteliers.

House swapping is becoming increasingly popular and according to a company which specialises in the market, some 700 houses were swapped this year.
Local environment
A spokesperson for Intervac, Maria Angeles Sas, explained yesterday that house swapping is an ideal holiday for people who want to immerse themselves in the destination they are travelling to. “Hotels can be cold and quite often leave the guests detached from what is happening around them in the local villages etc.” But, while there is a growing market for houses being swapped in Spain and Andorra, an increasing number of Spaniards are house swapping further afield. Apparently, parents with young children who they would like to be spending their holidays practicing foreign languages they are learning, in particular English, demand for house swaps in Australia, Canada, the United States and even Japan grew significantly this year.

On the flip, there is a great deal of demand from overseas.
Apparently, for every Spanish house swap client, there are three who want to come from overseas.
Apparently, most house swaps last for two to three weeks but some are for much longer periods with Easter and Christmas always proving popular.
Cost effective
It's also cost effective because members of the scheme only have to pay an annual quota to their house swap agency and the cost of travelling to their destination.

Holiday let hysteria: see page 10