Advocats Abogados

The Spanish village with more tourist accommodation than residents

Real Estate - Fuente: El País - 04/03/2020
noticia destacada

Nestled at the foot of the Tramuntana mountains on the west coast of Mallorca, in Spain’s Balearic Islands, Deià is a haven for artists and musicians and was home to the novelist Robert Graves before his death in 1985.

Surrounded by hills, the village is at the heart of a municipality that covers 15 square kilometers and stretches five kilometers along a rugged coastline. With its narrow winding streets and stone-clad houses, Deià is one of the most visited spots on the island. While it has a meager 400 residents in the winter months, it triples its population in the summer, with day trippers swelling the numbers. In fact, while there are only 617 residents on the local census, there is enough authorized tourist accommodation for 1,126 visitors.

People see a business opportunity and they have every right to take advantage of it
Carlos Paredes, pharmacist

The contrast between the deserted streets in winter and the crowds in summer has prompted the environmental association Terraferida to point out that the website Airbnb alone offers space in Deià for more people (618) than actual residents. Terraferida spokesman Jaume Adrover is asking Deià’s town council to freeze the number of licenses issued for vacation rentals. “They should suspend them as soon as possible to curb land speculation and avoid an avalanche of applications for building permits,” he says.

The Mallorca Council, the island’s legislative and executive body, has declared four of its five main towns to be at saturation point, meaning that a permanent residence can only be rented out to tourists for two months of the year.

The excessive number of tourists has meant that during the high season, water has to be shipped in to these towns from Palma in trucks. “In Mallorca you can’t announce real estate development plans ahead of time; you have to approve them first and then make them public, otherwise they have a pull effect and end up being counter-productive,” says Adrover.