Joan Miralles, president of the Aptur holiday rentals association. | @ApturBaleares

Joan Miralles, president of the Aptur holiday rentals association, said yesterday that holiday rentals are not the main cause of so-called tourist massification. Based on figures from August last year, holiday rentals accounted for 15.3% of tourists who came to the Balearics, while 66.4% stayed in hotels.

These figures are included in a report into the impact of holiday rentals on the total volume of tourists in the Balearics. They are drawn from different statistical sources: the Balearic Statistics Institute and the Frontur and Egatur surveys by the National Statistics Institute.

Of the remaining 19.3% of tourists, 16.2% stayed in accommodation considered to be outside the market, i.e. they were in their own properties or stayed with family or friends. As for the other 3.1%, there is no information.

Given the number of tourists opting for hotels, Miralles argued that it is wrong to blame holiday rentals for any tourist saturation. "It is an element, but it is not the principal cause." In addition, he insisted that holiday rentals do not influence the price of housing. Shortage of housing, in his opinion, will not be solved by tourism legislation but by the housing bill.

With regard to days in August when the total population of the Balearics is at its highest, Miralles observed that holiday rentals were responsible for only 7.3% of this "demographic pressure" in August last year. The maximum population on one day was 2,057,244. By contrast, hotels accounted for 22.8%.

Miralles said that fines of up to 40,000 euros for the tourist rental of unlicensed properties will be "disproportionate". This level of fine is included in the legislation, which is due to be approved by the Balearic parliament on Tuesday. He added that Aptur will wait to see exactly what emerges from parliament before making any decision on legal challenges to the legislation. "Depending on how the regulations are finally drafted, we are not ruling anything out."