Turistas walking with their suitcases. | PATRICIA


Habtur, the holiday rentals association, believes that tourism minister Bel Busquets has failed to give the public the full information about a planned reduction in the number of tourist accommodation places. Busquets has referred to the elimination of 100,000 places but has not made clear that 90,000 of these would be rentals places.

María Gibert of Habtur says that "an enormous and inexplicable unfair disadvantage exists between holiday rentals and hotels". The reduction in places will only lead to further benefit for the hotel sector; at most it stands to lose 15,000 places.

The Habtur calculation is made on the basis of the current situation in Majorca. The market is divided 70:30 in favour of hotels against so-called ETH (estancias turísticas vacacionales), meaning holiday rentals. Having set a ceiling on the number of places - 315,000 hotels; 115,000 ETH - the tourism ministry now wants, says Habtur, to get rid of 90,000 holiday rentals places, which would shift the ratio to 90:10.

The government's measures of control mean that only hotels can exist. While it seeks to "liquidate" more than 80% of rentals already regulated, it does nothing to restrict all-inclusives which only promote "drunken tourism". This is hardly in line, Habtur suggests, with the tourism ministry wanting to improve quality.

Gibert claims that the 90,000 places which Busquets wants to eliminate were regulated before the moratorium on new rentals accommodation places was introduced (it has now ended). These were places that did not go into the stock of places to be made available once the moratorium was over, because the tourism ministry "didn't want to integrate them and so therefore they are destined to disappear".