The holiday rental sector is important to the region, says the association. / sur

The impact of holiday rentals in Andalucía will be 1.8 billion euros this year

Professionals in the sector have hit back at criticism about this type of business, saying it has high economic value for the region and should not be 'criminalised'

Pilar Martínez
PILAR MARTÍNEZ

Representatives of the holiday rental sector in Andalucía have spoken out in defence of his type of business, following moves from the regional government and city councils such as those of Seville, Malaga and Cadiz to have greater control over them.

Carlos Pérez-Lanzac, the president of AVVAPro (Association of Tourism Rental Professionals in Andalucía), has pointed out that the sector is expected to have an economic impact of 1.8 billion euros in Andalucía this year, and reproached the authorities for trying to ‘criminalise’ this type of business.

The association strongly refutes several claims about the tourism rental sector, which it considers to be unfounded and unjust.

One is that holiday lets are responsible for long-term rentals being expensive. “It is empty housing that has most impact on that. You only have to look at the figures for Seville, Malaga, Cadiz or anywhere else in Andalucía or Spain to see that,” said Pérez-Lanzac.

For example, in Malaga 10,770 homes out of the total of 246,444 are empty, which is 4.36%. This year 5,046 properties in the city are registered for tourism, and only 2,000 are active all year, so the association considers that tourist accommodation only accounts for 2% of all housing.

Register

Pérez-Lanzac also pointed out that the number of properties registered for holiday lets in Andalucía and the number which are actually used for this purpose are very different. It is obligatory to register a holiday rental property with the Junta de Andalucía and many people did so when the law came into force just in case, but have never exercised their right to offer them for holidays. There is also no obligation to de-register if an owner decides to discontinue the business. “We estimate that around 50% of registered tourism properties are active all year,” he said.

Unfair competition?

He also denied that tourist accommodation creates unfair competition for hotels, saying that many people wouldn’t come to Andalucía if rental properties were not available, and that they spend money in local shops and restaurants when they are here.

“Also, the two types of accommodation are complementary: 81.3% of tourists who took part in a survey said they used both,” he said.

And with regard to the problems caused to permanent residents by tourists in self-catering accommodation, which is reported to be a major problem in Malaga city, Pérez-Lanzac said that according to figures from the Local Police, the number of incidents of this type when compared with the number of overnight stays was less than 0.05%, a figure he described as “insignificant” and which could be extrapolated to anywhere else in Andalucía.

He also explained that the tourism rental sector and the College of Property Administrators in Malaga and Melilla have agreed to set up a code of good practice as way of improving relations between holiday rental clients and permanent residents.