The tourism industry demands immediate solutions to the housing shortage in Tenerife

Tourism associations are exploring measures to address the soaring rental prices, which are leading to a labor shortage in filling positions.

The hotel association and the primary trade union in the hotel industry have jointly emphasized the necessity for “immediate solutions” to address the “severe” problem of housing shortages for workers in the tourism sector.

Ashotel and Sindicalistas de Base conveyed their concerns to the Canary Islands Federation of Municipalities (Fecam) regarding the insufficient availability of affordable rentals in tourist regions, particularly in southern Tenerife. This situation is forcing employees to reside further away from hotels, apartments, and restaurants and is contributing to traffic congestion in the area.

Jorge Marichal, president of Ashotel, called for expedited solutions to overcome the bureaucratic delays involved in transferring land from municipalities to the Canary Islands Government for public housing construction. One proposed solution is for municipalities with already established residential land to facilitate housing projects by business owners willing to offer affordable rentals to workers. Additionally, the use of the Canary Islands Investment Reserve for this purpose is considered a feasible mechanism.

Hotel industry leaders have cautioned that the current situation often results in staff shortages and even the closure of some units or floors in accommodation establishments, all due to the inability to secure sufficient staff to provide excellent service. Manuel Fitas, secretary general of Sindicalistas de Base, highlighted the looming “collapse” of the tourism sector due to housing shortages and mobility issues, which are causing physical and mental stress for employees.

The tourism industry demands immediate solutions to the housing shortage in Tenerife

Sindicalistas de Base stressed that cooperation from authorities is required if there is available urban land, employers willing to build housing, and workers with stable employment and income to afford affordable rents. In recent years, housing prices have increased, particularly in tourist areas, making it challenging for workers to find suitable accommodations near their workplaces.

Ashotel also pointed out that the Canary Islands have the highest demand for social housing among the autonomous communities but also the highest number of empty houses. The proliferation of holiday rentals, without clear regulations on where they can operate, has contributed to the rise in prices and exacerbated the housing shortage. Currently, there are 195,000 registered tourist rental places in the Canary Islands, a 60% increase in six years, compared to the 325,000 regulated hotel and apartment rental places in the archipelago.

The Canary Islands Federation of Municipalities has offered to provide advice to local councils on this issue and suggested the formation of a working group involving Ashotel and grassroots trade unions to address the housing shortage. A follow-up meeting is planned for the second half of January.

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