9/07/2014 – Cinco Dias
Protest against the activity of Uber, the company intermediating between car owners and the people in need of a trip, led to one-day strike of taxi drivers in Madrid and Barcelona. Now, the tourism industry represented by the Spanish hotel association Cehat has raised voice against the black economy and illegality of some tourist accommodations in Spain.
However, Cehat´s president Juan Molas assured the cases are different: “We do not aim at forbidding the holiday rental to private landlords but we want everyone to play by the same rules”, he explained proving the drawback of the hotel industry with the fact that the volume of unregulated beds (2 million, according to estimations) leaves the official tourist accommodation behind (1.4 million beds, according to the National Institute of Statistics or INE).
The unmeasurable growth has played the main role in the spread of the intermediary websites. “They have already started to charge the users with commissions, acting unlawfully and making the hotels lose millions of reservations.” The most affected segment is represented by those people who dispose of between 50 and 250 Euros per each day of holidays.
“We want to sue the public administration for insufficient regulation causing huge money loss, supporting black economy and illegal employment, as well as damaging the image of Spain as a leading holiday destination. “The unregulated accommodations impair 16.000 hotels, boarding houses, campings and inns legally operating in Spain”.
According to the hotel owners, the spread of unfair competitors is fueled by the foreigners who buy houses in Spain. “They already account for 22% of all sales and among them there are many companies buying-to-lease”, says Molas. He also pointed out that the sector provides 268.000 direct jobs and another 300.000 jobs indirectly (one per each five legal work places).
Original article: Cinco Días (by Carlos Molina)
Translation: AURA REE