The importance of holiday rentals to Puerto Pollensa and the rest of the municipality has been a factor for years. | Andrew Ede


In 36 of Majorca's 53 municipalities, the number of authorised holiday rentals' places exceeds the number of hotel places. Heading the list is Pollensa, where there are 8,999 rentals' places - the highest by some margin - and 7,134 hotel places.

Pollensa is the only municipality which can be described as being one of Majorca's main tourist destinations where there is such a balance. It has long been appreciated that Pollensa is highly dependent on holiday rental accommodation, and this dependence is in part due to what occurred some thirty or so years ago. Hotel overbooking, especially in Cala San Vicente, created a boom in rental accommodation, and the trend has never been reversed.

Included among the seventeen municipalities where hotel places exceed those for authorised holiday rentals are all those with the major resorts. Calvia has 59,834 hotel places and a mere 2,112 rentals' places. In Alcudia it is 26,368 against 4,411; Sant Llorenç has 25,284 versus 1,478; and in Palma the figures are 43,633 against 2,080.

There was a time, roughly twenty years back, when Pollensa and other parts of the north as well as Cala d'Or were the only real centres of holiday rentals. These are now to be found in all municipalities. The 36 out of 53 reflects the fact that none of them, with the great exception of Pollensa, is a main tourist municipality. Campos, despite Es Trenc beach and Sa Rapita, has only 557 hotel places, while there are 2,197 for holiday rentals. Arta, which can only boast one small resort - Colonia Sant Pere - has 361 hotel places and 2,257 for holiday rentals. In Deya, the numbers are almost the same: 475 versus 495.

There are two municipalities - Escorca and Sant Joan - which don't have any hotel places. Respectively, they have 87 and 270 non-hotel places.

The figures can be considered significant, given the way in which the government's legislation may pan out in terms of the allocation of rentals' places. In Pollensa, where the former mayor, Tomeu Cifre, attempted in vain to get the Partido Popular government to re-think its 2012 tourism law and clauses related to holiday rentals, there may well be some nervousness regarding the way in which the allocation is made.