Miquel Cifre and Yolanda Loeffler.

The Balearic Association of Tourist Villa Businesses believes that the tourist tax will benefit the illegal offer of holiday rentals. “We don’t wish to enter into the debate about the tax, but we want to assess the scope of its application and collection. It is an unfair tax if it only applies to regulated and legal activities,” says association president, Miquel Cifre.

The association, which represents 1,500 villas in Pollensa, Cala d’Or and elsewhere in Santanyi, considers that it would be “ideal” were the tax to be applied at ports and airports. “We are looking to compete on the same market terms and not find ourselves facing unfair competition,” adds Cifre.

It is estimated that there are currently 6,000 holiday homes in the Balearics, of which half of them are in Pollensa, which has been the centre of this accommodation phenomenon for over twenty years. The association manages 1,500 properties (1,000 of them in Pollensa), all of them stand-alone houses or villas. “All the villas that our partners market are chalets with pools and are totally regulated. Other types of property, apartments for example, are not regulated and are therefore illegal, but some people lump all holiday properties into the same bag,” says the association vice-president, Yolanda Loeffler.

Tourist villa businesses are clear that the government needs to define issues regarding rentals. “There are a number of social realities that have to be looked at, but all properties have to abide by the same rules so that there isn’t any unfair competition,” notes Cifre. This unfairness is not the only question that worries villa businesses when it comes to the tourist tax. The association has asked the government for a feasible and practical solution to allow collection of the tax in villas.