Tourist rental apartments prohibited in Palma. | Ultima Hora

The new regulations for the tourist rental market in the Balearic Islands have cost the sector about 500,000 customers in the last two years, according to the latest data from the Institute Balear d’Estadística, or Ibestat.

In 2017 almost 2.5 million visitors stayed in tourist accommodation but bookings plummeted by 25% last year to just over 2 million.

All holiday accommodation properties must have a licence number from the Department of Tourism and any home owners caught renting to tourists without the proper papers can be fined up to 40,000 euros. Websites that advertise illegal properties face hefty penalties of up to 400,000.

Regulations

Before the Tourism Law came into force in 2018, hundreds of unauthorised villas and apartments were offered for rent online but in the last two years they’ve dwindled considerably, mostly because of the possibility of being fined.

4,268 of the 14,297 rooms rented to tourists since August of last year were in single-family homes and 9,195 were in flats.

There are now around 2,300 apartments with tourist rental authorisation in Majorca, but none of them are in Palma, because the City Council has banned tourist rentals throughout the city.

The clamp down on illegal holiday rentals hasn’t stopped tourists coming to the Balearic Islands, they’re just opting to book hotel rooms instead of apartments.