Left to right: Bernat Coll (Pimeco), José L. Zimmerman (ADigital), Joan Miralles (Aptur), Tolo Gomila (Fevitur) | Joan Torres


With everyone else, especially the government, talking about sustainable models of tourism, the holiday rentals sector yesterday presented its manifesto for such a model. Various businesses and associations active in the sector will present this document to tourism minister Biel Barceló in seeking to reopen the debate on legislation that "is causing harm to thousands of families who rely on revenue from rentals to support their income".

One of the associations is Aptur. Its president Joan Miralles said that the debate about tourist "massification" was focusing solely on holiday rentals when it was recently reported that 70% of hotels are over-occupied. "In August, only 15% of visitors stayed in holiday rental accommodation. The whole debate is about limiting rentals and not about hotel limits. It is these about which there should be a debate as the law doesn't solve them." Miralles added that the "very complicated" rentals legislation had caused indignation and that it had been badly drafted.

Toni Gomila, a member of the board of the Fevitur national federation of holiday rentals associations, argued that the legislation was the total opposite of regulation as it was a de facto ban through a moratorium with immediate and harmful effects on middle and working-class families. He added that he was convinced that the state would take the legislation before the Constitutional Court because it impacts on state laws over which there is no regional power.

The manifesto calculates that there will be an economic loss of some 100 million euros per annum. And this, it maintains, will be just be the loss for those directly engaged in rentals (put at some 20,000 people). There will be a further 900 million euros loss for local businesses of various kinds.

The legislation does not therefore conform with common objectives within the tourism sector for a model of sustainable tourism.

Signatories to the manifesto, in addition to Aptur and Fevitur, are ADigital, which is the Spanish association for web-based businesses, the Pimem and Pimeco small to medium-sized business associations, Airbnb, Homeaway, Rentalia, Fotocasa, Pimeco, SpainHolidays and Hundredrooms.