Authorities in Ibiza the have put real resources behind a campaign to clamp down on illegal rentals on the island, reports the local press.
Six inspectors and a legal officer from the Department of Tourism are going to spend the summer scouring the web with the help of some clever software in search of illegal rentals.
The Consell, or local government, has 1,500 legal holiday-rentals registered as legal on the White Island, which amounts to accommodation or beds for around 5,000 tourists.
So far the authorities have identified 4,500 homes that appear to be offered as holiday-rentals without a licence, reports the local paper Diario de Ibiza. Assuming all of them are rented out this summer, that means some 15,000 to 20,000 visitors per week staying in illegal tourist rentals.
Property owners who rent their homes in Ibiza to tourists without a licenc could be hit with fines of up to €40,000 in the worst case scenario.
There is a debate raging in Ibiza over the future of tourism for the island. With ever-increasing visitor numbers putting pressure on the environment, infrastructure, and housing, environmentalists are leading the call for holiday-rental restrictions to put a brake on visitor numbers. They won’t come if they have nowhere to stay, goes the argument. The hoteliers love it.