Council of Majorca presenting the zoning for holiday rentals. Left to right: Cosme Bonet, Miquel Ensenyat, Mercedes Garrido. | Consell de Mallorca


The Council of Majorca has at long last revealed information about the zoning for holiday rentals. The president, Miquel Ensenyat, the councillor for land, Mercedes Garrido, and the councillor for economic affairs, Cosme Bonet, yesterday gave a presentation at which it was explained that the Council will "initially" allow holiday rentals in apartments as well as houses in a host of so-called "saturated" areas for sixty days a year.

These areas include specific coastal resorts - Magalluf, Palmanova, Paguera, Santa Ponsa and the Llucmajor part of Playa de Palma. The rest of Playa de Palma is subject to Palma town hall's own zoning deliberations (as is the case with the whole of the city). In the interior there are the "towns" of Alcudia, Pollensa, Santanyi, Ses Salines, Soller and Valldemossa. These are defined as "interior centres with high tourism pressure". Among others are Banyalbufar, Deya and Fornalutx.

Resorts such as Puerto Alcudia, Puerto Pollensa and Puerto Soller are simply lumped together as the "other" coastal tourism centres and are not defined as being either "saturated" or "mature". Likewise, Cala Millor is excluded from the saturation category, although it had previously been said that it was saturated (mature).

This "explanation" only amounts to so much, as the Council has yet to conclude its plan for intervention in tourist areas (PIAT). Once this is available, there will be a more definitive map of the zones. Until there is this definitive document, nothing can move ahead with any new licences for holiday rental accommodation. The government's moratorium on new licences isn't due to expire until the end of July. Once it does, it needs reminding, there will be some 30,000 holiday rentals places (as opposed to properties) which can be licensed under this zoning regime.

The sixty days limit in what amounts to 36 locations in all - saturated coastal areas and the interior with high tourism pressure - is for "principal dwellings", i.e. owners' main residences. It is unclear as yet if these 60 days have to be in one go or can be spread out. In other areas, such as the resorts not classified as "saturated", rental can be in apartments or houses (villas) for 365 days a year. There are also distinctions for what is described as "common rustic land". Apartment rental will be limited to sixty days in this category. This basically applies to much of the island's interior. On "protected rustic land", such as most of the Tramuntana Mountains, there can be no rentals.

The definition or not of "saturated", according to Mercedes Garrido, has been based on the impact of holiday rentals on infrastructure and resources, the social situation, and the relationship between housing for tourism rental and residential renting. With regard to the sixty days, Garrido noted that this was in accordance with the "collaborative economy".

Miquel Ensenyat said that the zoning has been undertaken in order to identify areas where holiday rentals cause a problem and where they can act as a stimulus.