The Consell de Mallorca has approved the controversial Tourism Area Intervention Plan, or PIAT, which limits the number of tourist places available on the Island and eliminates the possibility of constructing new rural hotels on rustic ground.
Despite opposition from left-wing parties and the opposition the plan passed with 17 votes in favour and 16 against.
Territory Minister, Maria Antònia Garcías, pointed out that Majorca already has "a tool for territorial planning of the main economic activity that is genuine, legally robust, consistent with the change in model that we are promoting and committed to diversified and quality tourism," adding, “in a limited territory like ours, it was necessary to put order into Tourist activity, to regulate with coherence, containment and balance from a global perspective.”
PP Spokesperson, Llorenç Galmés, warned that "the plan will do a lot of damage" to the middle economy of Majorca and paralyse any economic development in the interior towns.
"A lot of self-employed people will lose their jobs and many small and medium-sized companies will not be able to continue developing their activity,” he said. He also criticised the fact that the text was approved without consensus and objected to the fact that the opposition had barely twelve hours to study the document.
PI spokesperson, Antoni Amengual, had also called for the text to be withdrawn, stating that it did not fit the new economic reality caused by the coronavirus pandemic and warned prior to the vote that his party would not support it saying the text was "out of date".
"The Administration cannot work with its back to the economic reality that we are suffering," he said.
The regulation reduces the number of tourist spaces from 43,000 to 32,000; 22,000 of them will be vacation rentals and 10,000 will be hotel beds.
One of the biggest changes is the new regulation for rustic land which bans rural hotels and holiday rentals in newly built houses in the countryside as well as prohibiting tourist rentals in saturated areas.
Those who want to provide a tourist rental service in homes already built now have to guarantee that there is some kind of agricultural activity.
The Environmental Groups, GOB and Terraferida criticised the Council for not reducing the 430,000 tourist places that currently exist in Majorca.
The Council claimed the rule does imply a de facto reduction of places because in the long run the 120,000 that were granted with extraordinary regulations will disappear.
Habtur described the Tourism Area Intervention Plan as "a new nonsense" for the Holiday Rental Sector and is considering the possibility of an appeal, citing concerns over the content of the document, including ”the Built-in Density Pattern, the Required Energy Certificate and the 4-Year Moratorium for some places.”
“These points will make it impossible to issue new registrations in certain areas of Majorca, if we take into account that new saturated mature areas are also incorporated,” said Habtur Manager, Maria Gibert, who also claimed that the decisions made by the previous Government regarding Vacation Rentals are "leading to the perpetration of the hotel model which prevents a real distribution of wealth within Majorcan society.”
"With all the measures that were carried out throughout the past legislature and this one it's becoming more and more difficult for people who have tourist properties,” said Gibert, who accused the Government of “perpetuating a less sustainable and less respectful environmental model.”
Habtur is also uneasy about the number of tourist places available with Gibert saying "90,000 of the 115,000 established in the Vacation Rental Sector have not gone public which will therefore be definitive and non-recoverable losses."