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HOME RULE New Rental Regs On Horizon

Thursday May 17, 2018

HOME RULE New Rental Regs On Horizon

An announcement about new holiday letting laws in the Canary Islands is expected to be made this coming Monday, May 21st.

The Canary Islands President Fernando Clavijo has confirmed that an announcement relating to the development of the holiday rental market in the archipelago is going to be made on Monday May 21st.

The holiday rental sector has expanded dramatically in the Canary Islands over the last five years and now accounts for around 22% of all tourist beds, according to a recent report published by the Ministry of Tourism. Driven by fundamental changes in holiday booking habits as tourists seek more authentic accommodation experiences online via platforms such as AirBnB, HomeAway and - away from homogenous resort-based hotels and apartment complexes.

Clavijo has confirmed that whilst there will be common laws across the Canaries, each island will also be allowed to determine an individual approach to the development of this sector, reflecting their differing circumstances. Empowering island governments and local councils to decide on the overall quantity of rental properties and their location. 

Here on Lanzarote the powerful hotel lobby is predictably banging the drum for more draconian regulation. Claiming that the holiday rental sector is distorting both the local housing and tourism markets by making it harder for local workers to find affordable long-term accommodation. Neglecting to mention their own employment practices which have entrapped many of their employees in low paid roles

A recent BBC report for example revealed that on average, a hotel cleaners salary in the Canaries has fallen by 33% since 2012, with some earning as little as 1.25 euros per room before taxes and deductions, despite the fact that the islands have enjoyed a huge boom in tourist numbers over the same period.  Cleaners account for around 30% of the staff roster in most hotels.

Hoteliers have also claimed that the holiday rental sector is directly responsible for a fall in occupancy rates within their establishments. Disregarding the fact that they have raised their room rates to uncompetitive levels this summer on the back of the recent boom in overall demand.  Resulting in tour operators such as Thomas Cook reallocating capacity to cheaper hotels in resurgent destinations such as Turkey, Tunisia and Egypt. 

The reality remains that consumer tastes within key markets such as the UK and Germany are changing and within the tourist sector this has manifested itself in increased demand for more experiential and authentic holidays - which many hotel and apartment complexes are currently ill equipped to provide.  


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