In Tenerife

Alotca update on illegal letting meeting with Canarian Government viceconsejero de Turismo

Alotca has had a meeting with Ricardo de la Puente, the viceconsejero de Turismo in the Canarian Government, the head, in other words, of the tourism department in the Canaries. I can update as follows.

We have not been granted an audience with the President himself not least because he will not intervene in the running of Turismo and considers the viceconsejero completely in control of the department. Sr de la Puente, for his part, has said that the Government has a model for tourism for the Canaries and that uncontrolled letting is not a part of that model. As such, there is no hope whatsoever for open letting on residential complexes – which Alotca was not lobbying for, nor of independent villas – for which we were lobbying.

There is, however, to be new legislation to amend the law in at least two respects: the first is with regard to touristic complexes, and the second to villas on complexes that are currently residential. The new law is to be open for proposals to be submitted in around two months or so, and so at the moment its final form is unknown. What is clear, however, is that the sole agent system is to be changed in some ways, with a new concept of a “condominium” coming into play alongside a type of shares system in the running of touristic complexes. As part of these changes, complexes that are often called “dormant” will be permitted to resuscitate their licences. Also, villas on complexes that are currently residential, but whose land is or can be designated touristic, will be allowed to apply for touristic licences.

As far as Alotca is concerned, once the law is opened for proposals, we will be submitting for further changes, particularly with regard to independent villas. We have to recognize, however, that Turismo is effectively closed to such suggestions. The Canarian Government’s model for tourism, as I said above that Sr de la Puente made clear, does not include any such vision. As such, we have decided to shelve the idea of a petition: it has been made abundantly clear to us that the law will not change beyond the extent already outlined, and so it is on the one hand pointless lobbying for changes we have been categorically told will not be considered, and on the other hand, some of the changes we were lobbying for have already been granted.

I am not trying to imply that Alotca has won these changes single handedly, but it became very clear in the meeting that our actions so far have played a clear role in making the Government change its stance, however slightly. Instead of a petition, therefore, we feel that the better way forward is to go to the European Court itself, and the lawyers are currently investigating the possibilities in this regard.

With respect to appeals outstanding, many have expired through exceeding the six month period within which the Government had to complete the process. This is in no small part because of the extensive and expansive nature of the appeals submitted at each stage, which have tied up the process and consumed the time available for the Government. Those which are still ongoing, and which the Government does finalise within six months may then be appealed in the Courts, but the lawyers are now in no doubt at all that the Courts will not overturn the fines: the best that can be achieved is a minimisation of the fines to €1,500, the lowest amount for the “grave” category that the fines are in. For those who find themselves in that position, the lawyers estimate that the costs involved will be around €1,000, which comprises a similar fee to the first appeals plus an extra fee for the barrister that is required to appear in Court.

Although it is worth appealing to try for that reduction, any such judgment will not achieve the overturning of the law itself: the Courts must judge within the legislation as it stands, and that will not change with regard to the “offence”, nor the fines. This is why the lawyers consider the next stage must be examination of the possibilities of an appeal to the European Court. We feel that in some respects we have failed, but in others we have had successes. As I said above, we are not trying to imply that Alotca has won these changes alone, but our asociación has had a clear impact in shifting the Government’s stance, however slightly.

I’m happy to answer questions or clarify points, and of course will post again during the proposal stage of the new law, and when there is any further information on the possibility of taking the issue as a case to the European Court.

64 Responses to Alotca update on illegal letting meeting with Canarian Government viceconsejero de Turismo

  • The ‘government has a model for tourism in the Canaries’ says it all!

    AI hotels!

    So they deny the civil right of the tourist to choose where he/she wants to stay.

    Will the last man leaving our island turn the light off!!

  • Sorry! islandS – plural!!!

  • Janet,

    I think the latest news is a major step forward – albeit it may appear a small one. The biggest problem with the current system is the total domination of the sole agents and the fact they are a law unto themselves with no regulation whatsoever. I this ‘consultation’ leads to changes that allow owners to be licensed and then use licensed agents of their choice then there will be a lot of happy owners!
    At least ALOTCA have had an impact inasmuchas the Tourismo have shifted its position is some way and the news on the fines appeals also looks more promising.
    To turn a well known saying around, ‘Where there’s hope there’s life.’
    Well done ALOTCA and the committee members, I am sure you still have massive support in your quest for ‘justice.’

  • Janet,

    You may not have news on this one. I note in the Boletin that Tourismo are still using ‘evidence’ of illegal letting going back to february 2011 and I wonder if this is to continue as I saw that one owner mention on your website that they removed their advertisement but were still fined a considerable amount of time later. I would normally assume they would use this as mitigation in the appeal but it seems that there is a ‘blanket’ approach to appeals from Tourismo.

  • Thanks Philip, and yes, I’m afraid that a previous advert can be used for a present fine even if the advert has been removed. It can be appealed, of course, and the fact that it will have already been removed will be a considerable mitigating factor. There is a blanket approach to the fines – one I saw yesterday is not actually in the name of the owner of the property! – but the appeals are personalized. This is one of the things that chews up so much of their time, of course.

    CO – yes, they deny the right, relying on their own legal right to be protectionist. That in itself wouldn’t be so bad if they were sane with it. I hope there’s no last wo/man – I don’t want to be here in the dark …

    We go on …

  • What about rural tourism? Independent houses not on a complex away from the tourist areas? Nobody seems to mention them …

  • That’s because it’s a legal category, Anne. Casas rurales are totally legal. Ordinary independent houses in the hills are not, though.

  • Janet
    This might sound silly but how can I tell if my independent villa is legally a casas rural (probably not) or (perhaps), as you describe, a “villa on a complex that is currently residential, but whose land is or can be designated touristic”. I wouldn’t describe it as a complex, more on a residential street next to a tourist area.

  • IP, if it’s on a complex you would know because you would be part of the comunidad, with a president, annual general meetings, community payments to make annually, etc. Casas rurales, though, are specific designations, involving a traditional Canarian building on rustic land generally having some sort of food or craft connection. From memory they must be at least 50 (if not more) years old, so newer villas in the country will not qualify.

  • OK, well it’s not in a community and it’s not a casa rurale so I guess it’s an “independent villa” which I assume is still in a “no hope” category. But if a licence was possible then it would not be “uncontolled” letting.??

  • we will have to wait to see what the changes are to be in the sole agency situation before we can decide how significant the reforms are going to be in solving the letting problem. We are dormant touristic , so we would be over the moon if these reforms enabled us to re advertise on the internet and start bringing guests to our apartment like we used to do before the crazy government crackdown. We can not get too exited at this latest meeting just yet though. If we are going to end up with some sort of reformed sole agency system, then we will have to wait and see if this proposal is in any way better than the current daft system. If tourismo still wants apartments to be burdened with hotel style add ons like 24 hour reception and maid services, well then we are still at the protectionist anti competitive law situation, and many small complex’s will not want or be able to be compliant withn this system.

    The system that we all need, and this is the simple freedom that happens all over the world, is to be able to rent out on our own without any sole agents to hold our hands. these sole agents at the end of the day are just another unnecesary cost to the customer. What the canary government should do is charge an annual permit to the renting owners to licence this activity. This is how things have been reformed to run in portugal. Tinkering with the absurd sole agent system is not going to solve the problem. The sole agent system , with all its extra costs to the consumer , should be able to be challenged in europe courts, for one thing it makes the customer pay more to holiday self catering apartment in the canaries than say portugal, that type of unfairness to consumers is not normally allowed within europes borders.

    So we have to reserve judgement on how positive we can be following alotcas meeting with tourismo. However at least tourismo have met alotca and they are proposing some changes to the sole agency system. This does represent a movement on their part since they began their absurd crackdown on private letting, and up to now they have maintained a stoney silence. The damage to the canary economy which they have caused this summer is not going to be reversed quickly, canarian unemployment is going to become far worse in the months ahead. Tourismo are still acting like nero and fiddling away while rome burns. You can imagine the well healed head of tourismo sat around the table , still thinking that the canary economy can manage fine without all the lost customers of the residential apartments. With canary unemployment worse than south americas , as if tourismo can chose which customers they want and which customers they dont want on the islands in the weeks ahead. That attitude still smacks of the old spanish political/economic scenario where the government is wanting to help one sector of society ie the hotels, and then they are unconcerned if this policy is more damaging for the rest of the population. They have to get real quickly if they are going to help their economy and they are going to need every apartment back advertised on the internet like before and all these apartments full of happy guests spending their money in the canaries. I am saying every apartment , just like before the crackdown, touristic or so called residential. The canary people need all the jobs and all the paydays, the tourismo head man has his payday, the caanary government needs to think of the jobs and paydays of everyone else in the canarys.

  • The system that we all need, and this is the simple freedom that happens all over the world, is to be able to rent out on our own

    That’s not going to happen, Andrew. The sole agency system will be amended, and we will see in time how, and what part the “condominium” system plays in it, but no-one is going to be able to rent out on their own, at least not unless this is overthrown beyond the Canaries, indeed beyond Spain.

  • Janet, thank you very much for your summary as well as for ALOTCA’s hard work. I’d like to ask you some questions:
    Could you please explain when exactly starts the 6 month period before the expiration of the fine is declared?
    According to your perception, how many fines out of 100 do you think are forgotten for expiring reasons?
    Will the ongoing fines be as huge as those issued so far? Did the lawyers not persuade the Turismo representative to be a little indulgent?
    After this meeting with Turismo, do ALOTCA members have the same thoughts about reporting the problem to British press? Do you still consider it would be a bad strategy or simply believe it will not have results in the Government’s policy with respect to fines and/or flexibility to negotiate? If the Government felt in danger for bad press, do you not think it would cause the stop of new fines?
    The majority of the affected investors own single apartments on tourist complexes. It seems clear that the new law will not give these investors the chance of renting their properties by themselves although some other less relevant details mentioned in your report might improve. Unfortunately, the essence of the whole system will not change. Using Philip’s words, “where there is hope, there is life”, but maybe not in the Canaries. However, I am happy to know ALOTCA has had an approach to the viceconsejero.
    For those new members who have joined Ben’s blog, your fresh news might be published on that site as well if you like. Thank you very much in advance.

  • Could you please explain when exactly starts the 6 month period before the expiration of the fine is declared?

    On receipt of the fine or publication in the BOC.

    According to your perception, how many fines out of 100 do you think are forgotten for expiring reasons?

    The majority of the early ones – perhaps 65-70%. The later ones, though, are far tighter and we don’t expect they will expire.

    Will the ongoing fines be as huge as those issued so far?

    Yes

    Did the lawyers not persuade the Turismo representative to be a little indulgent?

    No. Given that the fines were not going to be overturned, we asked for the minimum in the category, i.e. €1,500. Effectively, they said “see you in Court”: not literally, but that was the gist.

    After this meeting with Turismo, do ALOTCA members have the same thoughts about reporting the problem to British press?

    No, our initial tactics have resulted in what I’ve now described – a small change mainly concerning touristic complexes and sole agencies. The tactics are now redundant. Make as much noise as you would like … and as much as you can!

    Do you still consider it would be a bad strategy or simply believe it will not have results in the Government’s policy with respect to fines and/or flexibility to negotiate?

    They will not negotiate any more. It is no longer possible to cause harm to a negotiation process.

    If the Government felt in danger for bad press, do you not think it would cause the stop of new fines?

    No – they feel they have the law on their side, a law that has been challenged in Europe and they have won. They believe they have a quality touristic model, and a vision of up-market tourism for the Canaries. They believe they can fully justify their actions on these grounds.

    The majority of the affected investors own single apartments on tourist complexes. It seems clear that the new law will not give these investors the chance of renting their properties by themselves although some other less relevant details mentioned in your report might improve. Unfortunately, the essence of the whole system will not change.

    We are not certain: there is a completely new concept coming into play and we don’t know what it involves, let alone how it will work. There will be changes, though, to the sole agency system and we have to wait to see what they are.

    Using Philip’s words, “where there is hope, there is life”, but maybe not in the Canaries. However, I am happy to know ALOTCA has had an approach to the viceconsejero.

    Thanks Jorge.

  • yes Janet of course they are not giving us independant letting at the moment. We would none of us expect such an early and sensible u turn from them. I hope alotca keeps this as an objective as we move forwards and look towards europeon court appeals. Events are rapidly overtaking tourismo , visitor numbers are going to fall off rapidly as summer moves on. What the canary government and tourismo want and hope for is going to have to bend to the economic reality that is hitting them. They alone have decided to attack 30 hotels worth of apartments and to have all the apartments internet advertising pulled from the marketplace. They have done this and now their economy is going to pay the price, and all this done in the middle of a global economic crissis. We can all wait for tourismo to say what it thinks should happen but events outside their control may force them to change their viewpoint in the months ahead. Its early days in this campaign , if alotca puts its case clearly and goes to europe level courts then a sensible independant letting system can be introduced in the future.

  • You misunderstand, Andrew. They are re-legislating as I described above. If there is any change to the law beyond what I’ve described it will be because it has been successfully challenged in Europe. That, if it actually happens, is years away. More significant in terms of what you say, though, was their utter and categoric rejection of any prospect of independent letting at any time under any circumstances.

  • Turismo has won the first battle. Let’s pay attention to what will happen when British media publishes the headlines Carmen mentioned in her posts. This Government is REALLY sensitive to bad press abroad. For example, I have been reading in Canarian newspapers, right now Turismo is worried about an announced strike promoted by hotels employees programmed for next August. Crimes, poverty, strikes and even bad weather are usually hidden as well.

  • …as it affects the incoming tourist figures. The protectionism law will not change for making noise, but perhaps making noise in the UK helps thousands of “criminals” not to pay enormous fines.

  • It is evident then that the only way forward now is by bad press for the Canarian government. We have to stand united, get organised and let the world know about this protectionist law and what it is doing to the beautiful Canary Islands. Believe it or not there are still owners completely ignorant of what is happening, estate agents still promising ‘good rental returns’, property management companies wholely reliant on this sector and companies offering to sell holidays in private villas/apartments. This HAS to be PUBLIC knowledge. Anyone with relevant contacts/associates please come forward to start this process!! the court route will be long and tedious so we need to act now and quickly before it is too late.

  • As Janet says the protectionist law may not be changed by bad press but it may just be ignored as for the last 15 years if we shout loud enough! why should tourists not be able to choose where they stay and why shouldn’t owners accommodate them provided their income is declared??

    Also a ‘class’ action was mentioned a while back, is this still an option and does an action have to go via regional courts first or straight to Brussels/The Hague/Strasburg?? sorry this is new territory for me!

  • There are a few new visitors at Ben’s blog. With Janet’s permission, the latest posts here should be republished on that new blog, which is likely to become very popular due to his action to contact private advertisers.

  • Yes, CO, a class action is one of the options being considered as a way forward … and no, we don’t go via Spain, we go straight to Europe.

    I forgot to say, and it’s damn important (sorry, it was late last night that I was typing that up), that Turismo were saying they believe many “illegal letters” avoid tax and that they will be passing on details to the Inland Revenue in the UK. Alotca’s lawyers think it is now essential only to advertise residential lets AND to make sure your tax affairs in Spain are up to date.

  • If anyone wants to copy them across they have my complete blessing.

  • Janet

    Thanks that is informative. I have a question? You may not know the answer but worth a try.

    My apartment was advertised by a uk based agent. The apartment number was on the page. To locate my English address turismo have gone onto my complex and demanded my details from the community office.

    The community office refused but turidmo then told them they had to produce the information within 14 days. Is that not a breach of data protection? Would that not be a defence in court or be used as part of a defence?

    This would apply to 20 or so people on my complex.

  • Thanks for that reply Janet, so, if you go straight to Europe why might it take years?? Sorry if I sound a bit dim, but I know the cogs of the law are slow, but this is such a blatant protectionist law denying civil rights of the owner and consumer that surely a case stating that should be relatively straightforward for informed lawyers to present? or is it just the amount of cases waiting to be heard ie the waiting list!

  • 11kidder no, it’s not in breach of data protection laws. The information is going to the Government for what is an “offence” under current legislation. That is expressly allowed in Spain’s data protection act.

    Interested Party, I’m sorry, I’ve just seen your comment. Yes, I’m afraid it’s a no-hoper. I suppose you could say that if a licence was possible then it would not be “uncontolled” letting, but a licence isn’t possible … that’s the “control” …

    CO, sadly, European cases take years, it’s just the way the European Court seems to work. So yes, a waiting list is part of the problem, but the largest problem in this particular respect is that previous European Court rulings have specifically permitted the Canaries to have “protectionist” legislation because the islands are one of the areas known as an ultraperipheral region … i.e. very far away from the centre of power, namely Madrid. So a different tack will be required, and the range of possibilities for this is exactly what the lawyers are studying right now.

  • Janet

    I agree to extent but the facts are, turismo should be going to internal governement departments for this information surely? Ie the notary?

  • The administrators of communities have up to date contact details, or they should have … and if they don’t, and a letter cannot be delivered, then any fine issued is published in the BOC. They have the law on their side, I’m afraid.

    For what it’s worth, notaries aren’t Government. They’re independent. That’s the point of them.

  • You have the biggest stick within your own hands like public service strikes everyone agree a date to take no booking for a month. I know it will be difficult for some but it will show what affect the clamp down will have. I,m sure the press will pick up on the loss of trade then. Shut everything down for next Feb or March in block. Come on start getting action together

  • But many of these figures aren’t included in the official touristic figures. I’m afraid I don’t see that this will work. They are using stats to their own advantage … and to your disadvantage.

  • Janet,

    Is it possible that the ‘consultation’ may result in the option for owners to use a licensed agent of their choice or will it stick to the one exploitation company per complex? The biggest problem seems to be single agents who dictate when an owner can use their apartment and also the derisory amounts that are offered for any rentals (and I know there are some decent exploiters out there). The current system, in many cases, actually gives the exploitation company total control of an apartment and the owner is almost like a guest in their own property (when they are allowed to use it).

  • We just don’t know, Philip. Until they unveil the draft, which is expected in a couple of months or so, we can’t know. All we know right now is that there will be some sort of “shares” system for owners on such complexes, and the introduction of a new concept of a “condominium”. What these mean, and how they’ll work in practice, is just guesswork until we see the draft legislation. It’s going to involve some change, though, that is very clear, to the sole agent system, but beyond that we can’t know right now.

  • I agree with Janet, shutting up shop will only damage the owners and those associated businesses, the government will see no change, but those businesses will!
    The tourists have to know what is going on, people do not like being told where they must stay and I truly believe we have to get the word out there so the government gets bad press, really bad press, there must be folks out there who have good journalists as friends? we need the Beeb, ITV, SKY, Daily newspapers everything we can and a long and relentless campaign until they listen! the court route is long and tedious, but I noticed Rivero used his visit on the 8th June to Brussels to ask the EU courts to intervene re the Oil exploration, despite losing 2 appeals, but says nothing about his protectionist law which looks after hotels ( many of which were illegally built but still standing!) to the detriment of the same islands!

  • Janet

    I suppose you could say that if a licence was possible then it would not be “uncontrolled” letting, but a licence isn’t possible … that’s the “control” …

    While I said “uncontrolled”, because that was the word used in your post/report, I was really meaning “unregulated” and that issuing tourist licences to independent villas would mean they would have to comply with the relevant quality levels and safety rules. But I suppose the consequence is the same if independent villas do not form part of the “vision”.

    By the way, who issues the licences: Canary Government, island Cabildo….??

  • Dave, if you do what you are suggesting, the official occupation rate will rise as in official statistics only legal hotels and apartments run by sole agents take park. It is said there are about 20,000 private advertisements, which may correspond to 7,000 different properties because people advertise on different webs the same apartment. Then if an apartment has room for three and a half people average, about 24,500 illegal beds could be those displayed on the net, although everybody knows there are a lot of extra beds not advertised. This means you could contact 7,000 owners through listing sites such as ownersdirec.com or holidaylettings.com. According to the figures mentioned in newspapers, there are 450,000 or so legal beds on the Islands. 24,500 beds out of 450,000 are just 5%.
    The way to defend your rights is making noise where Canarian leaders don’t want you to do it. Think of these examples:
    1. Internet is a powerful instrument of communication. Twitter, facebook, small online editions in the UK, ordinary British newspapers, local TVs, radio, emailing, etc.
    2. Displaying notices seen from your tourist apartment balconies: “Letting prohibited. Lending admitted” (use your imagination).
    3. Broacher delivery in the heart of tourist resorts reporting your story.
    4. Contact low cost airlines for support. Some of their clients are visitors who rent private apartments.
    5. Showing notices in bars, pubs, supermarkets, restaurants…

  • Whether you say uncontrolled, unregulated, or whatever word you use, it’s not going to happen. It is exactly the case that independent villas do not form part of the “vision”.

    It’s Turismo who is in control of the legislation concerning where licences may be issued, but I believe it’s then the actual cabildos that do the work and issue them.

  • Just read a thread on Facebook re All Inclusive where the Canarian Government say they can’t ban it ( not suggesting they should!) because there is ‘freedom to trade in the EU’ Pardon????????

  • Janet

    Does the appeal process of 6 months start from date of delivery of the letter or once you have appealed?

    Thanks

  • On receipt of the letter or publication in the BOC.

  • From Anthony B

    Illegal Letting – Simples

    The flood of self-serving whinging concerning illegal property letting is sad.
    Many years ago the Canarian people elected a government that implemented a strategic plan to upgrade the calibre of visitors to the islands from the “Kiss-me-quick” reputation it then enjoyed. The law remains in force and is slowly achieving its strategic aim.
    Along came the huckster property developers, funded by banks of rare economic and commercial skills, who overbuilt rank upon rank of ticky-tacky little boxes. These were/are sold/timeshared by bottom-feeding [unregulated] agents to incomers many of whom have an eager eye for borrow-to-let no risk profits. The boom years ran on and the status quo was undisturbed but eventually it [has] imploded and government has had to take steps to avoid financial meltdown by enforcing the law and collecting taxes. Today, those who wanted easy profits, or a cheap way of funding their holidays through holiday lets, may reflect that they did not research their purchase (or more likely, their bank’s purchase) and that they are acting illegally. Could it be also that many of them do not make the correct declarations of property status or income, in the Canaries or at home, so are culpable on two counts? As a separate thought, are they properly insured and would their insurance company pay out for a personal liability claim in property that is let illegally? Huffing and puffing to salami-slice the law changes nothing in that if your property is denominated as touristic and you let it, following the regulations, then you can let it; if it is a residential property, e.g. private, you can’t let it. Simples.
    Reading the various pieces of special pleading about the stupidity of the law one is struck by the thought that many of the most vociferous are probably those who complain the loudest about immigrants to their own countries; ignoring the irony that they are the guests, the immigrants, in the Canary islands.
    It is a long recognised that ignorance of the law is no defence against it, so, if you have been caught out by the law through your own inadequacy why not recognise that you have been suckered, don’t blame others, accept that you are breaking the law and should have known it, stop breaking the law now and just belt up.

  • I would not normally refer to a post as codswallop, but in Anthony Waring’s case, I will make an exception.

    The general anti-business culture of the Spanish is in my view taken to extremes by the Canarian government. I would be personally be delighted to a) pay a fee for inspection, as long as the criteria for passing said inspection were transparent and b) pay income tax on revenue (as I do on my property on the mainland).

    Any “tourism strategy” by the Canarian Government can be viewed as a failure; the statistics on visitor numbers, average length of stay and average daily expenditure are there for anybody to inspect. It is this culture of throttling enterprise and reducing choice which has contributed to Spain’s decline. Furthermore, I always seek out decent apartment rentals when I go away, and i’m not referring to the many tacky licensed places on the islands. If the Canaries will not provide me – and many others I’m sure with this CHOICE – I and they will simply take their business elsewhere.

  • Well said Adam, codswallop!

  • I have to say that any tax issues mentioned here (and elsewhere) are red herrings and some people are mixed up between cause and effect.

    For what it’s worth, I am a UK resident with a property in Lanzarote used for family holidays and also for letting and this is my position: Because of the lack of a licence and the consequential dangers of sticking my head above the parapet, for Spanish tax purposes I declare it as non-letting and pay non-letting tax on the “fictitious rent”. However, I pay full UK tax on the profit from the actual rental income which, strictly speaking, is not the right thing to do.

    My point is that it’s not tax avoidance and if I was licenced, which is not allowed, I would instead pay the tax on the profit in Spain and not in the UK due to the double taxation rules. In fact, I might well be paying more now because the non-letting tax is not an allowable deduction in the UK because there is no UK equivalent and so the double taxation rules do not apply.

  • Everyone is entitled to an opinion and that is the whole point of this sort of forum. However, I do find it amusing that Anthony B uses the word ‘vociferous’ as this does adequately describe the content of his contribution. I think the use of the word ‘immigrant’ in the context it is presented in the post, is quite offensive and not in the spirit of this debate.
    There is no doubt that the Authorities have been happy to have the ‘kiss me quick’ brigade whilst this has been contributing greatly to the economy and general infrastructure of the Islands, over many years.
    The Canarian Governments may have a grand plan for tourism but for this to succeed it will need to be inclusive not exclusive.
    As I have been visiting Tenerfie for over 30 years I could maybe class myself as an early member of the ‘kiss me quick brigade!!’

  • Yes Phillip we are all entitled to our own opinion, that is what democracy is all about and civil rights! I think it was the way the comment was written that was condescending, and sweeping statements were made in the same way that the Canarian government thinks all private renters are the ‘kiss me quick’ brigade. ‘Interested party’ has a point too, wanting to be legal and declare earnings but becoming vulnerable if she does. We really have to get the word out globally about the total injustice of this law.

  • i,m wiv’ Ant on this one,the good ‘ole days ”kiss-me-quick” hats,
    strollin down the prom coppin’an eye full,” luvely jubbly ”,’ang on a mo!!
    that was bleedin Margate !! ”YOU PLONKER ANTONY”

  • Anthony Waring needs to belt up! Complete idiot.

  • And at this point we have left the point far behind! Please can we discuss, if anything, the meeting and what arises? I don’t want this just to become another general discussion page – I closed those ….

  • As I posted on saturday, we have to wait and see what tourismo comes up with in reforms of the sole agent system before we can fully understand what we think about the recent meeting alotca has had with them. None of us would be suprised at this stage to have heard that tourismo is not going to consider legalising any residential complex tourist letting. On reflection it is perhaps significant that they are proposing any change at all to the sole agent system, even though we are not sure what the new reforms , share system and condiminium , actually entail. Given the nasty and severe crackdown, with no advance warning and massive initial fines imposed, it would not have been out of place if tourismo had indicated that no reform was needed in sole agency and that nothing was wrong with this protectionist law at all. On reflection I feel that because they have gone to the meeting and are going to anounce in a few months some reforms, well I feel that this is encouraging, and of course could not have happened without alotcas campaigning. Even if the sole agency reforms are short of what we all would wish to see eventually, the fact that tourismo is going to do some changes is encouraging. It is worrying when tourismo talks about its vision for tourism , and of course a tradegy for the canarian unemployed. Its enough of a mess for the young canarian unemployed in this crissis, then their politicians justify mad attacks on the islands economy because they have a vision. That type of twaddle realy is very scary, and is very much fairey land economics/politics.
    We have to hope that the reforms to come in the touristic apartment sector have come about because some canary politicos are living in the real world of economics and know that killing internet apartment letting is a disaster for the canary economy and needs to be halted. Maybe the politicos with the vision will be overuled in the months ahead? We are not hearing or reading any differing opinions on this from the canary politicos, but maybe following the meeting and the initial reforms which are now due to be announced, we are also seeing that perhaps not everyone in the canary government is a hotel protectionist with a vision of how the world should be? As the canary economy struggles further due to this crackdown maybe the voices of reason will prevail?

  • Janet,
    A very big thank you from us for the update on the recent meeting.
    Turismo attending the meeting is progress in our view, and without Alotca being involved none of us would be any the wiser that there may be some changes to come. Please pass on our thanks to all involved.
    Bev & Clive

  • Janet,

    When you had the meeting did you get any feedback from tourismo about the local economy. i, do they feel that their vision will create jobs and encourage local business and investors to the islands etc. i would like get an idea of their stance on things.

  • They seem to think it’s one of the fundamental things for the islands, and that we’re losing out to other markets as things are. I’ve just this afternoon posted a new news item on a press conference held by the VC de Turismo … it’s the latest news item. This is how they feel they can improve the economy, at least in so far as tourism’s part is played. Please have a read …. I’ll be interested to hear your comments afterwards on that post.

  • thank you Janet for your latest post:lets imagine for a moment to promote
    there new strategy turismo attend the worlds holiday destinations fair
    in Birmingham Mr.& Mrs,X enter the stand Mr.X is a IT manager on a
    good income they explain they take a summer holiday in places like
    Cyprus ,but would love to winter holiday in the Canaries this year they would like to come to Tenerife Mrs. X explains they have two
    boys aged 8 & 12 ,both are autistic the younger one also has an eating
    disorder they don,t stay in hotels because they find other guests with
    children staring at their boys and they don,t mix well anyway ,she needs
    a full size kitchen to prepare the special foods her boy needs they enjoy
    a private heated pool so they always book a villa ,whilst on holiday they
    hire a top range car and love to travel around and look forward to exploring the national park & Teide.they normally spend around 2.000 euros whilst on holiday.[this family does exist!!] anyone have any idea,s
    what turismo might answer them with??

  • Having read the latest statement i do actually agree with them, lets cater for these needs and promote the Canaries in these areas, great vision, but these are in the minority. Promote these areas by all means but run them along side what the Canaries have already. Being a businessman myself i would open doors to all tourism sectors and be the best in the world at mass tourism and specialist tourism. It would be a win win situation.

  • I diagree with the statement. It sounds like the vision talking. All sounds like a government believing in planned economy, like the old soviet block way of trying to plan the whole economy. Heaven help the canary unemployed. How this affects the private renters I do not know. Attacking them and stopping their visitors coming to the canaries does not help new vision. Its not as if the apartment guests are all high class high spenders who should be in the 5 star hotels. Is it that the down at heel apartment guests are making the place look downmarket walking around? Does tourismo think that the existing guests will put off the new vision up market guests? Maybe a compromise would be if tourismo established ghettos in the resorts and fenced in the existing undesirable apartment guests well away from the new vision up market people? That way both markets could be encouraged and the canary economy could benefit from both types of guest. Then if the new vision realy got going the ghettos could be reduced in size so that the up market new vision high spenders could enjoy more of the resort area as their numbers increased. On the other hand if the new vision people do not catch on tourismo could still retain the old apartment customers, maybe letting them out of the ghetto one day a week on high class vision peoples airport changeover day.

  • Your news item, “The best Climate in the World”, followed by Yellow alert for strong winds. Gave me a little smile.

  • I know!!

    Can we now please make further comment under the new news post about the tourism strategy? It’s HERE. I’d appreciate it.

  • Anthony B Waring

    Have you any idea what you are talking about – do you own any property here or are you just a sado – who doesn’t like the britisdh economy because of all it’s immigrants so you have a little dig here – why don’t you just do what you have been doing for most of the time and

  • Stop commenting!!!

  • Sorry janet – back to normal discussion

  • And I repeat my request for comments now to move to the latest news post.

    The meeting between Turismo and Alotca’s lawyers that this post refers to was held last week, and they were more emphatic than they’d ever been in previous meetings we’ve had with them. Today they have released a policy document for touristic strategy for the next four years that totally confirms what they said in this last and previous meetings.

    Their concessions, such as they are, can be seen, in my opinion, in the light of this stated intention to control and improve an “official” tourism offer. They know they need to offer apartments, but they want to limit and control that sector of the market.

    What matters now is how we deal with this policy, which is now the subject of the policy document I posted today. Please continue there.

  • Sorry to respond so late, but are “ordinary independent houses in the hills” in the same boat as private villas then? Why can’t they apply for licences as “casas rurales” if those are totally legal? I thought rural tourism was one of Turismo’s aims?

  • Yes, but rural tourism has a particular style, namely the “traditional Canarian”. This is why there’s a minimum age for casas rurales, as I said previously I believe it’s 50 years or so, but it might be more, and the properties have to have some connection with traditional and typical Canarian economies like farming, food, wine, etc. They can’t be modern villas with no historical connection to the island.

  • Is it just me or does this talk of ‘shares’ and ‘condominiums’ sound like the kind of set-up that timeshares operate on? Reading between the lines I think they want to turn the touristic complexes into aparthotels or, as they say, ‘condominiums’, and the owners will have a ‘share’. Will having my ‘share’ of the property mean a four-week allowance per annum? Will I have to maintain my apt to certain standards or, more likely, will the ‘condominium’ management (aka sole agent), tell me to maintain my apt to a certain standard, and very kindly arrange to have it done for me, possibly via a special firm set up to do the upgrades. Will I get a cut which is about 50% less than I was getting while I was allowed to independently let my apt?

    The latest news is that the sole agents will have to get 75% + 1 of the people on the complex to register with them in order to continue as sole agents. This at first might seem to be bad news for the sole agents: if you don’t like your sole agent you think he’ll never get it, and that’ll be the last you’ll see of him. Maybe the complex will even get back to being residential and you can at least get long-term lets. Think again.

    My prediction is that if the existing sole agent doesn’t get the 75%, the gov will be able to say shove over, and we’ll appoint our own guy. Then magically the requirement will go back to 50% + 1, which the new agent should get with ease.

    Does anyone want to finish the story? People might say that this will result in people closing their apts but in the end people will have to comply, they have to pay their mortgages and they have to obey the law. It’s one thing to talk about taking protectionist laws to the EU court, but this could take years.

    The only thing I can’t figure out is what they are going to do with people who don’t want to let their properties on a touristic complex. Are they going to tell them they are breaking the law by not registering their properties? And if they don’t go along with the deal they will faced with huge fines?

    I don’t want to start scaremongering, I’d call it being prepared for a very real possibility.

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Janet Anscombe
Tenerife News
August 2014
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