In addition to what she had to say about all-inclusives, tourism minister Bel Busquets told parliament's tourism committee on Thursday that since the holiday rentals legislation came into force, 574 properties with 3,620 accommodation places have been removed from the market.
These places, which cannot now return to the market, were predominantly in properties that owners have chosen to de-register as holiday rentals. Some, or so it would appear, have gone because of an "irregularity", e.g. non-declaration of income, but the properties which have been removed voluntarily are in the main ones that had been registered in the past but which owners no longer wish to use as holiday rentals.
This reduction had already been highlighted, although it is significantly higher than numbers that were given by the tourism ministry three months ago: 725 places in 127 properties plus a further 59 places in ten properties that were being processed.
Busquets considered this decrease to be positive and fundamental to the objective of "changing the economic model" of the Balearics. For the time in history, she informed the committee, there will not be more tourist accommodation places than at the present time*.
She went to say that the current government is the first to not invest a euro in promoting the Balearics in the summer, while there was an increase in the number of visitors between October and December. In the final quarter of 2017, she noted, there was a 5.8% increase in tourist numbers; their spending rose by 12%.
* There will, however, be an increase of some 42,000 places once the zoning for rentals and the Council of Majorca's PIAT plan for intervention in tourist areas are finalised.
Busquets and the government keep congratulating themselves on an increased number of tourists in the off season. However, a rise that occurred in November last year raised the number of tourists to a level similar to what it had been before economic crisis kicked in. To what extent the government can take credit is open to question. Economic circumstances and business decisions by airlines and tour operators are every bit as important; rather more so, it might be argued.
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