Biel Barceló and Mercedes Garrido outlining the Council of Majorca's plan for tourist areas. | Pere J. Bergas

Playa de Palma-Arenal; Paguera; Santa Ponsa; Palmanova-Magalluf; Calas de Mallorca; Cala Millor-Cala Bona-S'Illot. Six resorts or resort areas where there will be no more tourist accommodation places.

Regardless of the confusion created by the holiday rentals' legislation, the Council of Majorca is paving the way for the zoning of tourist places envisaged under the legislation. Prior to determining exactly where these places will be allocated, the Council has had to work up its plan for intervention in tourism areas (which goes under the acronym PIAT). And a key element of this plan is the identification of parts of Majorca which are considered to be "saturated" and "mature" (meaning obsolete) - the six named above.

With mature resorts, the aims are to modernise and to improve overall quality of accommodation. Saturation means that if new accommodation is built, it has to replace what already exists. Places in new accommodation can only be created, therefore, by eliminating existing ones. This way there is no increase in the overall number. In fact, the councillor for land, Mercedes Garrido, yesterday referred to a decrease in accommodation in saturated resorts.

Hotels are the target of this modernisation, but holiday rental accommodation is affected. The Council's plan will mean that there can be no more holiday rental places in these six areas. At a stroke, the Council, assisted by the government in defining the plan, has removed the possibility of any of the additional 42,000 tourist places that can be created under the legislation being in these six areas.

Another resort area - the bays of Alcudia and Pollensa - is apparently not considered to be saturated. However, there is a great deal of unlicensed holiday rental activity, especially in Puerto Pollensa. For the moment, it's unclear how the Council (and government) will treat this area, but the Council's view appears to be that most of what is not currently licensed will remain unlicensed.

In outlining the plan, Garrido, and the tourism minister, Biel Barcelo, said that the Council will also set limitations based on resources. Water will be one, but account will also be taken of energy and land. Water and energy consumption for tourism accommodation is higher than that of residents.

The government and the Council have been keen to spread the economic benefits of tourism to parts of the island which traditionally have had very little tourism. However, some municipalities in the interior have expressed concern about their abilities to cope with increased tourism.

As far as the limits on tourist places are concerned, the Council has to establish precisely what the current situation is in order to then determine capacity. Resources will be a factor in its conclusions as also will be mechanisms to avoid overcrowding, to conserve the landscape, to protect heritage. Consideration is also to be given to affordable housing needs.

The Council's official line is that all Majorca is "touristic". Limitations that will arise from the PIAT are not considered to conflict with this.