Published On: Thu, Feb 1st, 2024

Spain tourism: Andalusia is so overrun with tourists it is limiting holiday accommodation | World | News


Authorities in Andalusia, the southernmost region in Spain, approved legislation on January 29 aiming at regulating tourist accommodations, holiday apartments and hotels.

Councils in the region now have the power to establish “proportionate limitations” to prevent holiday accommodations from overrunning neighbourhoods and decide on a maximum number of dwellings for tourist use for each building and area.

Moreover, the legislation gives neighbours’ associations the power to refuse or green-light tourist accommodations within the margins set out in the Horizontal Property Law.

Andalusia’s regional minister of tourism, culture and sport, Arturo Bernal, noted during a press conference that tourist apartments “represent almost half of the tourist accommodation in Andalusia”. More than 116,000 properties of this kind are estimated to currently be registered in Andalusia, he added.

While holiday apartments have helped boost the tourism sector in Andalusia during the low season, they also created “tensions with the way [this type of accommodation] fits in with urban planning regulations and with the residents’ associations”. 

The new regulation also aims at strengthening the legal figure of companies operating tourist accommodations – which would result in the improvement of working conditions for staff as well as facilitating relations with tourism administration and guaranteeing the rights and duties of users.

Other measures provided by this legislation include an extension of the period of occupancy of an accommodation, from 3pm on the first day of the contracted period until 11am on the day of departure.

Andalusia is a massive autonomous region home to more than 8.49 million people. The region includes some of the holiday destinations most beloved by British tourists – including Costa del Sol, Seville and Almeria. 

Between January and November last year, the region welcomed 11.57 million tourists, overtaking pre-pandemic levels. During the same period in 2019, Andalusia counted 11.46 million international arrivals, according to the Spanish National Statistics Institute.

During the first 11 months of last year, a whopping 2.56 million British tourists flocked to the region.

The issue of over-tourism and how to welcome holidaymakers without making them a problem for the local population affects the whole of Spain.

Kike Sarasola, founder and CEO of Room Mate Hotels, said to be in favour of “more quality tourism, lowering the number of tourists and raising the average price”.

He told Spanish publication Hosteltur: “We have to be honest and face the problems we have. Enough of aspiring every year to break records in terms of millions of visitors, which generates more tourism-phobia.

“I said it many years ago and I keep saying it: let’s all sit down, all the actors in this comedy – the administration, businessmen and residents – and let’s agree on what tourism model we want. Because I don’t want to reach 100 million international tourists, it seems barbaric to me, and anyone who thinks that we can absorb them by simply saying that we are going to do it in a sustainable way or by diverting them to secondary cities doesn’t really believe it because those 100 million will continue to come through Madrid, Barcelona or Malaga.”

Adding Spain wants “tourists, not problems”, Mr Sarasola is urging all players in the tourism sectors to agree on a sustainable model and, after setting limits and regulations, make sure all players in the industry stick to it. 



Source link

Verified by MonsterInsights