Canary Islands implement regulations and oversight for vacation rentals

Tourism introduces legislation to empower municipalities and establish standards for vacation rentals in the Canary Islands.

The draft bill introduced by the Canary Islands Government to regulate the tourist use of dwellings outlines several key provisions aimed at achieving a balanced and sustainable approach to tourism accommodation. One notable aspect of the proposed legislation is the allocation of residential buildability, with a significant portion—ranging from 80% to 90%—reserved for non-tourist purposes.

This allocation is subject to urban planning considerations and environmental assessments, ensuring that the development of tourism accommodation does not encroach excessively on residential areas. The specific percentage may vary depending on the characteristics of the Green Islands, reflecting the region’s unique circumstances and environmental concerns.

Presented by the regional councillor for Tourism and Employment, Jéssica de León, and the director general of Tourism Management, Training, and Promotion, Miguel Ángel Rodríguez, the draft bill underscores the government’s commitment to prioritizing the needs of residents in tourism-related decision-making. It seeks to shift away from an unregulated market environment towards a more structured and sustainable approach to tourist accommodation management.

Canary Islands implements regulations and oversight for vacation rentals

A pivotal aspect of the proposed legislation is the role assigned to local councils in determining the tourist use of housing within their jurisdictions. Municipal planning considerations will guide these decisions, with various instruments—such as ordinances or special plans—enabling councils to regulate holiday home operations on a core-by-core basis. This approach empowers local authorities to tailor regulations to suit the unique characteristics and needs of their communities, fostering greater flexibility and responsiveness in managing tourism accommodation.

Vacation rentals in the Canary Islands: transition to the new regulations

To facilitate a smooth transition towards the new regulatory framework, the draft bill proposes a five-year transitional period. During this time, existing holiday home owners can continue their operations, provided they adhere to the new regulations. This grace period allows stakeholders to adjust to the changes gradually while ensuring continuity in tourism accommodation services.

Canary Islands implements regulations and oversight for vacation rentals

However, the draft bill also includes provisions to address potential loopholes and ensure the sustainable use of residential properties for tourism purposes. For instance, it prohibits the use of protected dwellings for tourism and imposes a ten-year limit on the tourist use of residential properties. Additionally, it requires approval from local councils for full tourist use of residential plots, following a comprehensive evaluation process. These measures aim to safeguard the rights of residents, protect the urban environment, and promote responsible tourism development in the Canary Islands.

Overall, the proposed legislation represents a comprehensive and forward-thinking approach to regulating tourism accommodation, balancing the interests of residents, businesses, and the environment. By providing a clear regulatory framework and empowering local authorities, it seeks to foster sustainable tourism growth while preserving the unique character and appeal of the Canary Islands as a premier tourist destination.

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