The Galician Association of Private Hostels (Agalber) demands the Xunta and the City Councils through which the Way of St. James passes to take measures to regulate housing for tourist use.
The association, which has the Sarrian Pedro Xosé Quintana as secretary, says that “there are more than 9,000 properties” dedicated to tourist housing and that they were discharged “more than 500 last month in our community. He adds that due to this situation “is alarmingly reducing the number of homes to rent,” stating that for that reason “the concellos do not grow,” in addition to being an “unfair competition” for the accommodation sector on the Camino.
As a solution, Agalber calls for “stricter criteria and quality” by the Xunta de Galicia and the Concellos. He maintains that it is “a sector that is not professionalized at all, with null guarantees for the users of these lodgings”. To it, the entity of shelters adds “the progressive discomfort of the communities of neighbors, stigmatizing the pilgrim up to dangerous limits”.
On the other hand, the association has shown its “concern for the decline of pilgrims in 2019 throughout the French Way” based on data from hoteliers. According to Agalber, occupancy figures in establishments along the French Way are “significantly lower”, with 10% less than in 2018.
They commented in their statement that the administration “must promote and campaign for all routes,” stressing that “the route with the greatest number of pilgrims must also be careful and be present in government actions.