A DRAFT bill of a decree aimed at regulating the hotel and B&B sector along the Costa del Sol has upset hoteliers and businesses across the region.
The decision by the Tourism Office to regulate B&Bs for the first time has been widely criticised by businesses in the tourism sector.
The decree was approved by Andalucia’s tourism board on Spetember 9, and is still being finalised. It is intended to combat undeclared and illegal B&Bs and create a level playing field for competition.
According to sources in Andalucia’s government, the draft bill was passed with nine votes in favour and one abstention, whilst it received stiff opposition from two of Andalucia’s main business associations (the Confederación de Empresarios de Andalucía and the Confederación Empresarial de Comercio).
Last Tuesday September 30 in Malaga, the current draft bill was criticised by Andalucia’s Hotels and Apartments Federation (Fahat) who represent a total of 3,000 hotels and B&Bs in the Malaga region, with more than 350,000 beds.
Fahat’s President, José Carlos Escribano, complained that the Junta de Andalucia (regional government) have not listened to their needs when drafting the bill, and has called for similar legislative treatment for the entire market.
Fahat want the decree to set a minimum stay of five days for an apartment to then be classed as ‘used for tourism’: a rule that is currently only in place in Madrid and Barcelona.
The new regulations will require all B&Bs to sign up to Andalucia’s Tourism Register, and then use their registration number whenever they publicise or promote the B&B. If owners fail to do this, the locale will be classed as ‘clandestine’ and inspectors may be called in.
Antonio Roldán, Deputy Minister for Tourism, said: “The process is not yet finished and we are open to ideas.” The government want to get the ball rolling on B&B regulation along the Costa del Sol.