The Minister of Tourism and Employment of the Government of the Canary Islands, Jéssica de León, announced this Monday at the press conference following the Government Council that the regional Executive has given the green light to the “urgent” authorisation of the preliminary draft of the Law on Tourist Use of Housing , with the need to “shorten the time” to address in an “immediate” manner the “transversal and comprehensive” regulation of the holiday home phenomenon from the perspective of “sustainability”.


De León indicated, as reported by Tiempo de Canarias, that this declaration seeks to “complete the drafting of the law, to guarantee the adequate protection of the constitutional right to decent housing.” In this sense, he explained the “urgent” need to regulate this subsector that is classified within the tourism industry and that will allow “reducing” time, with the “sole” objective of having it submitted to the Parliament of the Canary Islands on September 30 for subsequent approval.


The councillor explained that the project started with a public consultation that involved the participation of more than 5,000 people and for which more than 20 meetings were held with different social agents, universities, FECAI and FECAM, and four roundtables were planned with experts who addressed the draft to subsequently develop the Law on Tourist Use of Housing, which was available to the public for more than 20 days.


During the process, 3,033 objections were received, which are currently being studied and assessed. De León indicated that they received “various” objections, especially some that “do not accept the regulations in force.”


The number of holiday properties currently registered in the General Tourist Registry amounts to 58,447, which represents a total of 244,613 accommodation places. The councillor asserted that the aim of the regulation is to ensure that “not one more is created without planning”, while indicating that this housing emergency “is not something exclusive to the Canary Islands, but is being observed in cities such as Valencia, Seville and Madrid”.


Among other collateral effects of the phenomenon of so-called holiday homes, the councillor listed growing problems of gentrification and touristification resulting from the exponential increase in residential housing to tourist housing, affecting numerous population centres in the Canary Islands, in addition to the construction of entire buildings for this use.


On the other hand, he stressed “the tourist exploitation units that have been converted into holiday homes, violating the principle of exploitation unit and the use for which they were authorized and built.”


“The implementation of holiday homes has been done, not only on the fringes of, but against urban and territorial planning, distorting and destroying the model of urban development democratically approved by the citizens and in the complete absence of tourism planning,” he said.


For the Minister of Tourism and Employment, this fact “puts at risk the immediate future of employment, taxation, competitiveness and quality of the tourism sector in the Canary Islands, as well as sustainable mobility and the fight against climate change due to the displacement of the resident population from traditional centres and the increased need for transport,” she concluded.