Majorca: Tourists return to Palma Beach after lockdown

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Palma is an extremely popular destination with tourists, including Britons, with many travelling to the city for a break in the sun. However, the local Government had grown increasingly frustrated with short-term tourist apartment rentals in the city.

Local Government had brought in the tourist apartment ban in 2018 to try to combat tourism in Palma and control rental prices.

The local authorities said that tourist apartment rentals had raised prices too high for local people trying to rent a flat.

In pre-pandemic times, Mallorca received over 10 million tourists every year with many staying in and around Palma.

Short term tourist apartment rentals were said to cause “neighbourhood conflict” and upset residents.

Under the laws, tourists were still able to rent villas and detached homes outside of protected areas.

The Association of Temporary Apartment and Housing Rentals had appealed the ban, arguing that it was designed to favour the island’s hotel industry.

The Balearic High Court ruled in favour of the appeal, calling the ban “disproportionate and unnecessary.”

It did not agree that the ban was to benefit the island’s hotel industry but did say that it was in violation of several EU laws.

The Court said that less “radical” measures could be taken to try to reduce over tourism and rental prices in the city.

However, the mayor of Palma, José Hila, said that the local Government would appeal the High Court’s decision.

He said: “There will be no tourist apartments in Palma” and argued that the ban was important to the city.

When the ban was brought in in 2018, the mayor of Palma at the time said: “There is nothing worse than having residents who can’t live in their city or afford a rent.”

Locals in Mallorca have complained of British tourists’ drunken antics in the past and argued for a “zero tolerance” approach.

There have also been protests about cruise ships docking in the city’s port as the large liners cause pollution.

Residents often face higher prices for rent and other items due to the city’s popularity with tourists.

Palma remains a favourite with British tourists and after travel restrictions were relaxed, many have chosen to visit the destination.

Spain is currently on the UK’s amber list of destinations although new rules from October 4 will see the traffic light system scrapped.

The system will instead be formed of two categories called ‘red’ and ‘rest of world’. It is expected Spain will be on ‘rest of world’ unless anything changes.

From October 4, double-vaccinated passengers will no longer need a pre-departure test before entering the UK.

PCR tests currently required on day two after arrival for double-jabbed passengers will also be replaced by lateral flow later in October.

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