Spain second largest tourist rental market in the EU

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Spain is a favourite holiday destination among English speakers. Many other nationalities also choose a place in Spain as a holiday destination every year. Tourist rental is then an attractive option for many. This makes Spain the second largest tourist rental market in the European Union in 2023.

With as much as a fifth of all bookings in the Old Continent, the country offers a diverse choice of accommodations for every traveller. Only in France is the tourist rental market larger, according to Eurostat data. The popularity of tourist rentals has taken off in recent years, and Spain is at the forefront of this trend. With more than 340,000 tourist rental apartments throughout the country, it offers countless options for a unique stay. Whether you prefer the sunny beaches of Andalucia, the bustling cities of Catalonia, or the picturesque villages of the Comunidad Valenciana, there is something for everyone. The regions of Andalucia, Catalonia and Valencia concentrated 55.6% of the national supply. 13.3 million people were accommodated here during their holidays and trips.

Increase in tourist rental market of 12.4% on an annual basis

Spain saw more than 130 million overnight stays in tourist rental accommodation in 2023. This underlines the country’s appeal to holidaymakers from all over the world. With an increase of 12.4% compared to the previous year, the demand for this form of accommodation continues to grow. This growth is especially visible during the summer months, when no less than 42.2% of all bookings take place.

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Spain broke all records in 2023

The rise of this form of holiday accommodation coincides with a period of steady growth in the Spanish tourism sector, one of the strongest in Europe. In 2023, Spain broke all records with the arrival of 85 million foreign tourists. They spent €108,789 million in the country. Both figures are 2% and 18.3% higher than those of 2019, when the previous records were set, which were thwarted in subsequent years by the pandemic.

EU regulations and national policies

At European level, the European Commission has taken steps to regulate this form of short-term rental. Large platforms are required to share information with government agencies. Autonomous communities must keep a register of properties and owners, with the aim of combating illegal supply. These new regulations have yet to be approved. However, the law does allow two years for implementation.

In Spain, Minister Rodríguez has stated that the government plans to “restrict” tourist rentals in tense areas. This form puts too much pressure on the housing market because it reduces the supply for the local population. The minister did acknowledge that most powers in this area lie with the autonomous communities and municipalities. The Ministry of Housing has currently set up a working group together with the Ministry of Industry and Tourism, although no concrete measures have yet been announced.

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