Fear that holiday rental places will go. | Javier Coll

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The Habtur holiday rentals association argues that the decree law for tourism circularity and sustainability will result in the "disappearance in the medium to long term" of some 90,000 accommodation places.

The president of Habtur, Toni Barceló, accused the Balearic government on Monday of having acted "in secret" in approving the decree. He demanded that the holiday rentals sector, made up mainly of small owners, is given the same treatment as large hotel chains, the main beneficiaries of the decree law.

He explained that when a hotel accommodation place is deregistered, it goes into a pool and can then be acquired. He wants a similar "rotation" for holiday rentals. Accepting that some places might become "inactive", he nevertheless argued that it would be unfair if 90,000 places might end up being lost. If owners opt for a change of use for their properties, the holiday rental places are no longer licensed or available.

"In the medium to long term, there will be a total disappearance of the sector," he stated, adding that holiday rental has allowed properties to remain in Mallorcan hands and not be acquired by foreigners, which is what he fears as a consequence of the decree.

Supporting Barceló was Eugenia Cusí, the president of the restaurants association within the Pimem federation of small to medium-sized businesses associations. She observed that "once again a sector of small business is being harmed for the benefit of large hotel companies".

Biel Rosales from the association of tour guides emphasised that holiday rental tourists are, in general, just the type of "quality tourists" that the government is supposedly seeking to attract with its reforms.