Farmers might be able to offer up to ten tourist accommodation places.

09-03-2015Elena Ballestero

The Balearics farming law, currently going through its parliamentary procedure, envisages that farmers will be able to complement their normal activities by offering "agro-stays". These mean accommodation places for tourists.

This line of business has already been flagged up within the framework of tourism legislation. A fundamental aspect of it would be that the tourism is linked to farming. In other words, there can only be stays in accommodation on farms where there genuinely is farming. The property would have to be an owner's main place of residence.

The proposals under the farming legislation would remove one particular constraint, that of zoning. This wouldn't apply to these agro-stays, for which a further proposal is that the purchase of accommodation places (beds) would be equivalent to that of holiday rentals, i.e. 875 euros per place as opposed to the 3,500 euros for hotels, which include agrotourism establishments. A further constraint that would not apply would be the need for a minimum energy efficiency certification. It has also been suggested that places which are acquired by farmers would be in addition to the new ones currently on offer for holiday rentals (and hotels) under the Balearic tourism legislation.

The accommodation would not be available all year; just for six months. The government is currently considering that there would be a maximum of six places in any given property, but there is a suggestion that this should be increased to eight or ten.

Farming associations, while generally welcoming the proposals, differ when it comes to the type of property, arguing that accommodation should be possible in existing buildings that are not the owner's habitual place of residence.

The farming law is due to be passed shortly. For the government it is to be legislation which maintains the life of the agricultural sector and ensures the conservation of the land.

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