The number of foreign tourists that visited the Balearic Islands in the first six months of the year exceeded 5.4 million, 8.5% more than in the same period of 2016, these are the latest data released by the National Institute of Statistics (INE). These data lead us to consider the current situation of the much-discussed Balearic Tourism Law.
The largest number of foreign tourists who traveled to the Balearics in the first six months of the year came from Germany, 36%, and the UK, 29.5%. The main emitting countries were the United Kingdom, with almost 8.6 million tourists and an increase of 9.1% compared to the first six months of 2016; Germany, with about 5.5 million, 9.6% more, and France, with more than 4.7 million, an increase of 4.9%. In addition to all this, it’s well known that relations between Spain and Russia enjoy very good health which means an increase of Russian tourists to our country. Every year over 1.5 million Russians come to spend holidays in Spain and most of them choose Mallorca.
On July 18, the new Tourism Law was debated and voted on in the Balearic Parliament, which will take effect next week. In the same way, a decree law will be approved that will correct it to allow apartments leased to tourists, but this option will remain prohibited until the insular councils and Palma City Council determine in which areas and under what conditions it is authorized.
The Ministry of Tourism emphasizes the need to enforce the law, especially the large marketers, internet platforms and real estate, in clear reference to the legal uncertainty that until now allowed vacation rental housing in multi-family buildings sheltering in the state leasing regulations despite being prohibited by the Regional Tourism Law. Rental platforms that advertise homes for short leases without the mandatory authorization number and market unregistered flats or houses may be fined up to 400,000 euros.
As soon as the new law comes into force, a moratorium on new places will also be implemented until island councils and the Palma City Council decide which rental modalities are accepted in each zone.