While Minorca faces a season of uncertainty, the island does so with its highest ever number of tourist accommodation places. The latest official figures from the Council of Minorca's tourist planning department indicate that there is a total of 78,402 places. Estimates of the illegal offer of unlicensed holiday rental accommodation push this total up to around 110,000.
The department's records show that 2,414 beds were added last year. These were for 489 establishments, mostly holiday rentals: 89% of these new beds were for rentals. The figures for last year were significant in that 2019 was the first full year following the lifting of the moratorium on granting new licences that had been applied during the process of zoning tourist accommodation under the 2017 tourism law reform.
In 2018, no new holiday rentals could be registered until August. Over the course of 2018, 119 properties with 563 beds were taken off the rentals market. In 2019, by contrast, there were 477 new properties with accommodation for 2,153 visitors. Of the 78,402 places, some 26,000 in 5,478 properties are for holiday rentals - a third of the entire official supply of tourist accommodation.
The balance of new supply in 2019 owed virtually nothing to traditional tourist hotels. It was due to agrotourism and to interior, boutique hotels. These now account for 1,233 places, and there are a number of projects that are currently being processed which will increase this supply.
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