The secretary of state for tourism, Bel Oliver, said yesterday that the national tourism ministry is drafting legislation for holiday rentals that will give legal security to owners and consumers and "clarify the rules of the game". There needs to be a clearer system, she added, explaining that there will be a clarification of the Ley de Arrendamientos Urbanos (tenancy act) and what constitutes a holiday let and does not.
The state attorney is involved in this drafting process, and the Madrid government intends discussing the legislation at a meeting next month with regional ministers and interested parties. Oliver acknowledged that drafting this type of legislation is made complicated by the number of public administrations that are involved, to say nothing of the European Union. Although Madrid is planning national legislation, regions will still retain their powers, given that they each have specific circumstances.
Oliver was speaking in Palma, having held talks with Balearic tourism minister Bel Busquets. She explained that next month she wants to discuss observations that the National Competition and Markets Commission may have in respect of holiday rentals regulations adopted by Palma town hall and the Council of Majorca. This discussion would also involve Balearic officials. The commission, as reported yesterday, has lodged legal challenges to regulations in Bilbao, Madrid and San Sebastian.
On a separate issue, Oliver signed a four-year agreement designed to strengthen the Balearic government's commitment to sustainable tourism and to enhancing the quality of tourism. Busquets observed that there is "absolute harmony" with the new government and that the agreement will bring about a "more respectful tourism" and less seasonality of the tourism sector.
A focus on quality systems for tourism, which have existed since 2000, allows tourist destinations to get rid of "anti-social tourism", noted Oliver. An issue discussed with Busquets was the consumption of alcohol on flights, for which the Balearics are seeking support from the Madrid government and the Aena airports authority in taking the issue to the European Commission.
There was also talk about investments in mature resorts. One of these is Playa de Palma, for which a new agreement with Madrid is expected.