Yesterday's presentation by Habtur and the business associations. | HABTUR-Balears

The Habtur holiday rentals association yesterday presented a new campaign for integrated tourism which has the aim of demonstrating the social and economic benefits of a correct use of holiday rentals.

This campaign intends to dismantle "false myths" about rentals and promote quality tourism which provides a fair distribution of benefits to individuals and businesses. It brings together the two associations for smaller retailers, Afedeco and Pimeco; the association for small to medium-sized businesses, Pimem; and the Majorca restaurants association.

At yesterday's presentation, the associations highlighted the losses that have been incurred since the introduction of Balearic holiday rentals legislation last summer. In total, it was claimed, these amount to an annual figure of 1,000 million euros, a tenth of this the loss to around 20,000 families who have found it more or less impossible to continue renting out their homes (or second homes) to tourists. On top of this are the losses for restaurants, bars, shops, supermarkets and others; all the consequence of the "negative effects" of the legislation.

The associations agreed that they have experienced significant falls in sales. Alfonso Robledo, president of the restaurants association, said that business turnover in parts of Majorca has dropped by 30%. He picked out Cala d'Or for particular mention, adding that this has had a negative impact on employment.

Jordi Mora of Pimem disputed the Balearic government's belief that the legislation has been beneficial for long-term rental. "Holiday rental supply has gone down and prices for residential letting have gone up by 25%. There is no significant influence on housing."

There was a general view that the government's legislation is both confusing and disproportionate.