Local police forces are being asked to get more involved with helping to locate illegal holiday lets.. | Majorca Daily Bulletin reporter


The Council of Mallorca has detected that the illegal tourist rental market has expanded to include rooms and even vans for 150 euros a night on online advertising platforms. The island’s councillor for Tourism, José Marcial Rodríguez, and the island’s director of Tourism for Supply and Quality, Clara del Moral, announced today that from this Saturday until mid-November the island’s institution will mount an expansive inspection plan to detect and prosecute the illegal tourism market.

Of the total number of over 2,500 inspections planned, around 80% will be aimed at combating illegal tourist rentals in Mallorca. According to the INE National Statistics Institute, comparing advertisements with registers, there are some 20,000 illegal places in Mallorca, although he admitted that he “would not put his hand in the fire” for that figure, after detecting the illegal renting of rooms and even camper vans that have been detected by his inspectors.

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More specifically, of the 2,500 inspections planned, some 600 (24% of the total) will be aimed at responding to complaints and claims, while the rest, the other 1,900, will be aimed at controlling illegal tourist activity in all types of establishments.

Rodríguez also said that the Department of Tourism is negotiating with the Federation of Local Entities (Felib) on how to extend collaboration with town councils and local police so that “they can be the eyes on the streets of the municipalities. We will not tire of helping those who do things well. We have to boost the legal supply by improving its value capacity and this can only be done by eliminating from the market anyone who creates an illegal supply in an unsupportive way”, he stressed.

Clara del Moral said that one way in which municipal authorities can assist is through involvement of local police forces. Referring to small municipalities in particular, Del Moral observed that the local police often know when tourists arrive with suitcases - officers can see them. A ruse that inspectors have come across is that a property they have been monitoring turns out not to be the one that holidaymakers stay in. "When tourists arrive, they are told that they will be accommodated in another, better property. It is quite possible, therefore, that what is advertised online isn't the actual property."