Ibiza town hall has implemented a new law which will severely restrict the use of Airbnb and similar holiday accommodation platforms. According to reports by Spanish paper El Confidencial, the restrictions will be put into effect in time for the busy summer season. In recent years, enormous demand during the summer months has resulted in seasonal workers and other professionals on the island being unable to find or afford accommodation because it is all taken by tourists. Reports have found that some professionals have been forced to live out of vehicles or in otherwise unsuitable or cramped accommodation during the hectic summer season when the island, and particularly the capital Ibiza Town, becomes what has been described as “a real estate jungle”.
Last year, the municipality of Santa Eulària des Riu on the south-east coast of the island implemented similar measures that effectively banned short-term leasing websites like Airbnb. “The arrival of digital platforms has created an unsustainable situation,” said the Council of Ibiza's councillor for tourism Vicente Torres. He went on to say: “The relatively recent arrival of online platforms has already created an unsustainable situation. What we saw in summer 2017 was not positive for anybody, therefore we want to see rented accommodation priced for long-term residents, not short-term tourists.”
A unanimous vote by the Council of Ibiza established that, apart from a few districts on the island that will allow single-family villas to be rented out on a short term basis, only places that were already officially classified as tourist land (i.e. for accommodation) should be made available for short-term visitors to the island. In August 2017, the new Balearic tourism law established that private owners could be fined up to £40,000 for illegally renting their homes to tourists, while businesses such as Airbnb could be fined as much as £400,000.