Alcudia bay, where two town halls are identified as creating delays to hotel building work. | Martin Muth

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According to Inma Benito, the president of the Majorca Hoteliers Federation, town hall administrative obstacles have impeded off-season investment of 113 million euros in hotel redevelopment. The town halls, she says, have applied a "restrictive dynamic" when it comes to the granting of licences. This has prevented many businesses from carrying out renovation projects. "The delays are by as much as eighteen months, and this is creating a great deal of legal insecurity."

The federation maintains that building licences were previously awarded within six months. This gave adequate time to plan work and finalise contractual arrangements with construction companies. She explains that a detailed analysis of each tourist area has led to the 113 million euros calculation. The delays are therefore affecting the building sector and its suppliers, which in turn add to a negative impact.

Hotel chains of different sizes agree that delays are causing problems with planning, which has a negative knock-on effect on the concession of building work, hiring of building workers and also hotel employees. The hotels argue that there is no good reason why the delays should be the norm at most of the island's town halls.

Benito suggests that there is a lack of awareness of tourism among local authorities, which fail to take account of the fact that hotel renovations create employment and increase hotel ratings, which ultimately lead to a client base with greater spending power.

The town halls most inclined to delays are said to be Alcudia, Calvia, Manacor, Palma, Pollensa, Sant Llorenç and Santa Margalida. Capdepera and others on the east coast are described as being "more sensible" and granting licences within a couple of months.

Companies which belong to the Balearic builders association are also complaining about the "administrative paralysis". Many projects that had been scheduled have had to be postponed until next winter. This is therefore affecting construction companies' finances and employment. "The attitude of some municipalities benefits no one. What's at stake is the economy of Majorca and the competitiveness of a sector."