No hotels in Son Serra de Marina. | Archive

There are no hotels in Son Serra de Marina and nor can there be. There are, though, and according to Santa Margalida town hall figures, places for 825 tourists in legally registered holiday properties, while there are 813 people registered as residents.

The tourism ministry's register, however, has 103 properties with 585 tourist places. The difference would appear to lie in a confusion as to what is Son Serra and what is Santa Margalida. The government has classified certain properties as being outside Son Serra.

Whichever figure is correct, neither takes into account the unregistered properties. Margalida Mestre, a Son Serra resident, has looked into what is being advertised on websites. Early in April, she found that there were only 28 with a tourism ministry registration. It could be, though, that all the others were registered after her study. The ministry's information regarding 103 properties was released last week.

The president of the residents' association, Maria Mestre, says that there have been holiday rentals in Son Serra for years and that it has maintained its quiet character. "We hope that this will continue. There have never been any issues with holiday rental. Most of the tourists are repeat visitors. They know the place well. They come back precisely because it is quiet."

She adds that maintaining a house right by the sea is more expensive than elsewhere. Income from rentals goes towards preserving properties. Asked about holiday rentals, Joan Monjo, Santa Margalida's mayor, simply noted that Son Serra has become a tourism alternative to Can Picafort.