Selva, where it is reckoned that rentals' places have topped the thousand mark. | Maria Nadal

Figures from the tourism ministry show the current extent of holiday rental accommodation in villages in Majorca's interior. Heading the list in terms of number of places is Algaida with 796. Not far behind is Sineu with 726 and Sencelles with 724. Even the smallest of villages are registering reasonable numbers. Ariany has a regular population of under 1,000 but has 385 places.

For local businesses, such as Restaurant Can Salom in Petra (where there are 672 rentals' places), it's good news. The tables are full each day. At the Restaurant s'Estanc Vell in Vilafranca there has been a notable increase in the number of tourists. Restaurants in other villages are also viewing the holiday rentals' market positively.

The significance of holiday rentals is obvious. These villages typically have low numbers of hotel places. In the case of Sant Joan (with 352 rentals' places), there isn't a single hotel place.

The ministry's figures do, however, vary from ones issued at the start of the year. They were provided by the association of holiday rentals' villas (a different body to Aptur) and the hoteliers' association in Pollensa. In Pollensa there are more licensed rentals' places than hotel places.

This other set of figures showed, for example, that Selva had just over 1,000 places and that Sa Pobla had 861. By contrast and respectively, the hotel places were 238 and 39.

Why the discrepancy therefore? It is always possible that these other figures include unlicensed rentals, but the villas' association pointed out that it has nothing to do with apartments. Villas and houses are generally not an issue where rentals' legality - licensing and registration - is concerned.

Whatever the reason for the difference, it has been apparent over recent years that there has been a drive to increase holiday rentals' places in the villages. In Sa Pobla, for instance, this has been a strategic and coordinated approach by the town hall. And the villages may well benefit more from the Council of Majorca's zoning. Although it hasn't stated this as specific policy, it is understood that the interior may be looked on favourably.

While the benefits to the local economies are clear, there can also be drawbacks. Selva town hall has been one to refer to these. Increased population, even of a temporary nature, puts greater pressure on services and infrastructure.