A consequence of the Balearic holiday rentals' legislation is that 42,649 tourist accommodation places are currently vacant in Majorca. This figure is accounted for in the ceiling on places that the law has established and it covers all types of accommodation.
The big questions are going to be how these places are allocated and where they will be allocated. It is the Council of Majorca which will establish the rules, but its deliberations won't truly start until its plan for intervention in tourist areas (PIAT) is given initial approval towards the end of the year.
This plan will be crucial in determining how the places are allocated to the various zones in Majorca. The original draft for these zones showed eight of them plus Palma on its own as the ninth. Some of them overlapped. The largest zone - for Majorca's interior - crossed over into six others.
Until the zones and their respective number of places are decided, there can be no new licences for accommodation. The moratorium on the issuing of the new licences is twelve months from the time that the new legislation came into effect. The Council's land department, which is responsible for finalising the zones, will need this time. It will be consulting with town halls.
In parts of the island there is an additional factor to take into account. In the six so-called saturated, mature resort areas - Playa de Palma, Paguera, Santa Ponsa, Palmanova-Magalluf, Calas de Mallorca, Cala Millor-Cala Bona-S'Illot - no additional places are to be permitted. Any new place would have to replace an existing one.
Current estimates suggest that there are around 67,000 illegal tourist places. Clearly these can't all be legalised as they are too many of them. But if they happen to be in an approved zone, some will be eligible so long as they meet tourism ministry criteria for accommodation.
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