National tourism minister Álvaro Nadal (centre) placed the blame for saturation on holiday rentals.

16-01-2018Ruiz Collado

Álvaro Nadal, the national tourism minister, yesterday said that holiday tourist rental is to blame for congestion and saturation in the Balearics. The minister also took aim at political use of "tourismphobia". "There has been no tourismphobia, but vandalism directed towards the tourism sector." Most criticism, he suggested, should be reserved for this phenomenon being used as a "political weapon" in the Balearic Islands. He acknowledged that rental is "demanded by the public" but added that "it must be regulated".

Nadal was speaking at the pre-Fitur conference organised by Exceltur. This conference, always held on the day before the Madrid fair starts, drew together leading hoteliers and others from the tourism industry as well as politicians, among them regional presidents such as Francina Armengol.

Gabriel Escarrer Jaume, the CEO of Meliá, agreed with Nadal that holiday rental is the "principal cause of saturation in the Balearics". Carmen Riu, co-president of Riu Hotels, criticised regulation of holiday rentals in the Balearics, suggesting that it was not restrictive enough and will result in "further episodes of saturation in Majorca and the other islands". Riu said that the amount of rental accommodation has led to "situations of the rejection of tourism" because of the impact on residents. She exempted hoteliers from any blame. "It's not because of the hotels, the number of beds has not increased, it's because of rental."

Armengol was involved in a debate with Escarrer, Riu and two other regional presidents - Alberto Núñez Feijóo of Galicia and Ximo Puig of Valencia. The hoteliers also attacked the tourist tax. It is an "aberration", and Riu predicted that it will result in a "progressive decrease in the number of tourists in the Balearics".

The president defended the government's policies on rentals, such as the zoning that the island councils are undertaking and the scale of fines for websites that offer illegal rentals. With regard to the tourist tax, she insisted that there has to be a focus on quality and not quantity, adding that there is "great social acceptance" of the tax and that competitor destinations, "like Greece", are implementing their own.


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ivan polunin / Hace over 4 years

Look at the membership of Exceltur ( and the comments about saturation are predictable .At that Exceltur-sponsored conference a report was presented that said on the one hand that saturation was greatest when tourists from around the island converge on Palma on bad weathr days combined with several cruise ships in port. I live in Palma and note that this is clearly evident. On good weather days with few cruise ships saturation is not evident. Yet the same report lays the blame is laid on tourist rentals. Make your mind up.


Tony / Hace over 4 years

It's very sad what this government is doing for its citizens..... I forecast unemployment and businesses closing because of these rediculous decisions. The summer season is getting shorter every year meaning independent businesses have less time to sell their goods bars and restaurants less time to be able to earn money to support the local economy and jobs. By not offering tourists the choice of accommodation will send tourism through the floor. Local businesses need independent tourists renting private apartments as these tourists keep businesses open and the local economy fluent as they spend money where many all inclusive hotels clients tend to stay within the complex and spend little or nothing. If these politians keep treating tourists and apartment owners with the contempt they appear to be demonstrating then you can wave by by as tourists will find other destination's to visit and spend their money.


David Sumner / Hace over 4 years

84€ for tax on 2 weeks at our favourite hotel in Cala San Vicente ? Sorry but coming to Mallorca is no longer an option. There comes a time when it's just too much to pay along with the dodgy pound.


E Weldon / Hace over 4 years

Alvaro Nadal-What a load of “TOSH!” It’s the Greedy Hotel Chains and All Inclusive Chains That’s “Killing” Mallorca - Such a shame as It’s a beautiful Island and the hardworking people are lovely -I sold my family apartment and we have still managed to come three times last year twice to All Inclusive and we still ate out as the food was disgusting in the Hotel - Thank God we know all the good local Bars,Restaurants and Café’s serving delicious “Local” delicacies and not the usual crap!! I’m sorry but this year 29th in Mallorca will probably be our last! The rest of the Mediterranean awaits to be explored! So Sorry for my Mallorquuian and Spanish friends who have lost their once thriving businesses-I think the Locals will need to Revolt against the Corrupt Palma Government Officials!


J.O. / Hace over 4 years

The reason people want self catering accommodation is because they want to experience real Mallorca, the bars, the markets, restaurants, local communities, not just the 'all inclusive' resort hotels with their plastic ham and their watered down orange juice. I wouldn't come to Mallorca if I had to stay in these hotels... I want the 'real' life experience..


MelB / Hace over 4 years

One only has to walk along Playa de Palma and count the number of new hotels and hotels with extra floors added in the last two years to realize that villa/apartment rentals are not the sole cause of tourist saturation in the Balearics. However, the loss of vast numbers of rental properties will greatly affect bars, restaurants and ancillary services.


Graham Radway / Hace over 4 years

So why is it that they feel the need to build big all inclusive hotels in the resorts particularly in Palma nova. My families have holidayed in Majorca for many years sometimes in hotels always self catering but much prefer renting as it gives you so much more freedom than walking around with a bright orange wristband. We spend more in resorts. We will now not be coming back to Majorca until these greedy idiots have been voted out.


Henry James / Hace over 4 years

Why are all the politicians and hotel bosses on Majorca thinking and sprouting the kind of phrases that would have been used by communist party apparatchiks in years gone by.?


Steve Riches / Hace over 4 years

Gosh - what a surprise: hoteliers and politicians lining each other's pockets! It's so crassly open, all you can do is gawp at it and marvel.


John P / Hace over 4 years

Well,who would have thought it! The hoteliers put all the blame on “saturation “ on tourist rentals.AND surprise,surprise the government agrees. Wonder if the hoteliers mentioned their plans for all inclusive? Wonder if the hoteliers and indeed politicians mentioned any effects on restaurants,bars,employment,shops in their deliberations to decrease the number of available rentals?