Unregulated rental market costs tourism millions

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THE unofficial apartment rental market could affect the promising economic prospects of the tourist sector this year.

As reported in last week’s Euro Weekly News, the industry reported they were predicting a ‘historic’ year on the Costa Blanca following an ‘acceptable’ winter and a ‘spectacular’ Easter.

However, tourist employer Exceltur is now warning that revenue and results could be lost due to the thousands of tourists renting illegal apartments beyond the control of the Administration.

Data shows that overnight stays by foreign tourists in unregulated properties grew 24 per cent in the first quarter. This situation causes a loss of hundreds of millions of euros beyond the control of the Hacienda, burdening the income of the tourism sector and affecting true tourism figures.

The province registers annually around 90 million overnight stays by tourists in apartments, of which 63 million are in homes that are not registered, a disproportionate number compared with the 15 million overnight stays in hotels and triple the number of stays in legal apartments.

New legislation is now in place which requires those renting out their property to obtain a compulsory rental license number, which is free to obtain, in a bid to prevent this illegal rental market. Fines can also be imposed on properties being rented out without the registration number.

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