Tourism minister (and vice-president) Bel Busquets at the conference in Madrid.

19-07-2018@VicepresidencIB

Speaking at the conference of regional tourism ministers in Madrid on Wednesday, the Balearics minister Bel Busquets stated that the 300,000 euros fine levied on Airbnb was very much still in place. "The company was fined in February for advertising illegal tourist accommodation. The legal procedures for this have been completed, and the fine is as it was, the submissions against it having been dismissed." Two other websites, HomeAway and TripAdvisor, were fined the same amount for the same reason a few weeks after the Airbnb fine was announced.

During the conference, presided over by the minister for industry, trade and tourism, Reyes Maroto, Busquets considered the nature of holiday rentals regulation. "Mainly because each region has its own issues and diverse problems, there has to be regulation by regional governments."

Busquets outlined regulatory developments, emphasising the importance of accommodation zoning. This zoning, she stressed, has to be in the hands of the island councils and Palma town hall. In each region, she observed, the issue of holiday rentals will differ. "For some it is an opportunity, as it generates prosperity and diversifies the economy. In the Balearics there is a need for regulation and limits because of the threat posed to access to housing and coexistence with residents."

The Balearics minister welcomed the Spanish government's intention to modify the Ley de Arrendamientos Urbanos (tenancy act). This is something, she observed, that "has been demanded in the Balearics". There needs to be a distinction between rented accommodation for tourism and that which is not.