It has been revealed that the Canary Islands’ government investigated 2,600 cases of illegal tourist lettings in 2011 and are processing a similar number for this year.
The figures were disclosed at a press conference yesterday by the Deputy Minister of Tourism for the Canary Islands, Ricardo Fernandez de la Puente, following a meeting with representatives of employers involved in the tourism sector.
The Minister said the inspections and, in many cases, the subsequent punitive penalties imposed on those found guilty of illegal letting, were to ensure that all those offering holiday accommodation are “playing by the same rules”.
Fernandez de la Puente stressed that the government is spending a great deal of time and effort in pursuing offenders as they harm, not only those who comply with the law, but the image of the Canary Islands as a tourist destination.
President of the Hoteliers Association, (Ashotel) Jorge Marichal, said illegal lettings do not comply with the stringent standards laid down for tourist accommodation, thereby undercutting the legitimate side of the business.
Furthermore, he said, in many cases the money for the rental was paid overseas and so had a negative impact on the Islands’ economy.