Holiday rentals and housing
The recurring theme of holiday rentals and their regulation started the week off. On Tuesday it was reported that the Council of Majorca was urging the government to get a move on with regulating and not wait for it to come up with something known by the acronym PIAT, its "plan of intervention in tourist areas". While the Council was calling for haste by the government, it was admitting that its plan is unlikely to  be approved until 2019.

The plan, nevertheless, is of some importance, as it will determine parts of towns where holiday rentals can exist and where they cannot. This is just another consideration for the government as it tangles with an already complex topic. And into its consideration must now come the whole issue of accommodation, so not just for tourists. We also reported on Tuesday that long-term rental accommodation is becoming hard to find, and its scarcity has been exacerbated by the use of properties for holiday purposes.

The government, as noted on Wednesday, will attempt to tackle this via housing legislation, under which it will "intervene" with banks and real-estate agencies in seeking empty properties for social housing purposes, but the insufficiency of public administration efforts in this regard was highlighted by the case of Pollensa. In that municipality, especially in Puerto Pollensa, so scarce is accommodation that people (predominantly young) are looking elsewhere. This is also partly because of the high number of apartments for holiday rental. The town hall has a mere fifteen properties described as "protected" for social use. The mayor was suggesting that a type of bank of rentals could be created that have incentives for owners to offer them for longer-term rental.

The Palma graffiti
The number of holiday properties across the island and the consequent increase in tourist numbers was, so it was implied, a factor in the anti-tourist graffiti that appeared in Palma's old town. Biel Barceló, the tourism minister, suggested as much in a report in Saturday's paper. "Overcrowding," he observed, "wasn't good for residents or visitors". Against this background, yesterday's edition also reported on Barceló's rejection of "wholesale liberalisation of holiday rentals" that the National Competition Commission has been suggesting. This was an attack on Balearic self-government, said the minister.

Tourist tax woes
As observed on Friday, tour operators are now communicating the introduction of the tourist tax to their clients. As is the case with everyone, however, they are not entirely sure how tax collection will work, only that they know the rates, discounts and exemption for under-16s. From looking at one of the most important social media sites, Trip Advisor, it was evident that tourists are far from happy, and we have also had comments on our website (and letters page) echoing this unhappiness. One from Bonnie Borthwick expressed sadness as much as any anger: "I am so sad about this but do not want to be unwelcome". One wonders if the tourism ministry takes any note. It should do.

Magalluf - just the same
With the season pretty much underway, you just knew that Magalluf would muscle into the news, and so it did on Saturday. The town hall has finalised (more or less) its new ordinance. There are to be fines of up to 1,500 euros for prostitutes who offer their "services", more often than not a ruse for robbery with violence. Checking on social media, it seems that Calvia is going to have its work cut out in dealing with anti-social behaviour, illegal selling and prostitution. The evidence from the streets already this season suggests things haven't changed. And as Sue Parrish commented on our website (in reference to massage girls, illegal selling): "What we don't have are the police controlling this!"

Britannia snubbed
With the new P&O flagship Britannia coming into port for the first time yesterday, the Balearic Ports Authority was apparently unable to find time to greet it. The authority's president will officially welcome the ship on its second and final call in early July (when its passengers will be made additionally welcome by the requirement to pay the tourist tax). There was some indignation as to the "snub" of Britannia, Ron Forbes commenting that it was a "disgraceful decision".