The Homeaway Holiday Rental Platform presented this Thursday the 5th Holiday Rental Barometer in Spain, with the aim of providing reliable data to help improve knowledge of the sector. According to these data, the tourists who opted in 2017 for Tourist Use Homes (VUT) in our country generated 62,157 million euros in the destination, of which 17,466 million were used to pay for accommodation. According to this report, the tourist housing sector has generated an economic impact of 124 billion euros in the last 2 years
Carried out by Homeaway in collaboration with the University of Salamanca, the barometer includes for the first time the contributions to the Spanish market of the main European markets that send tourists to Spain: the United Kingdom, France and Germany. A leading user in the holiday rental sector, which had not been contemplated until now. Among its main conclusions, it is worth noting that, in the last two years, tourist housing has been used for 110 million trips: 29 million for residents in Spain (7 million more than in 2017) and 81 million for residents abroad.
Among the conclusions of the report is also the consolidation of this type of accommodation, chosen by 46.9% of national travellers and 42.9% of residents abroad. Another of the main conclusions of the Barometer is that for residents abroad, the stay in tourist accommodation is longer than for residents in Spain, with an average stay of almost 10 nights, with the main users being families (43.7%) and couples (35.6%), data that represent a slight change from the 2017 study (48.7% for families and 29.5% for couples).
Websites specializing in this type of hosting are the main source of information searches, increasing the use of mobile phones in searches and card payments, although the computer is still the main device when it comes to contracting. In addition, users particularly value the location of the homes and opt for apartments. It is also worth noting that one third of the expenditure made by this type of user during their stay is spent in the home environment.
The report was presented by Juan Carlos Fernández Pérez-Crespo, General Director for Southern Europe at HomeAway; Pablo Antonio Muñoz, Professor at the University of Salamanca and Director of the study; and Joseba Cortázar, Director of Communications at HomeAway in Southern Europe. The latter was opposed to the imposition of limits for this type of accommodation in Spain. “In urban environments there are more and more tourists, not only in the VUT. And those tourists generate friction where there is saturation. Therefore, the responsibility is for all tourist accommodations and not just for vacation rentals.
For Cortázar, although vacation rentals can influence the price of long-term rentals, “it is not the only cause, there are many more”. In addition, he reiterated that in most holiday destinations “there is no price problem, only in urban areas and related to the idiosyncrasies of urban environments: empty housing and few policies to encourage long-term rental”.
Even so, from HomeAway, and despite the fact that their study highlights that 97% of vacation rental users had no problems with their neighbors, they recognize that there are areas where this conflict can exist. “But we want to point out that the holiday home does not represent that, because most of them are in summer destinations, where the VUT are far from generating any conflict.
Homeaway also recognized that its platform can house irregular housing. “Our role is not to monitor or verify the offer we offer, but to quickly and effectively remove any content that does not comply with the law once we receive notification from an administration,” explained Joseba Cortázar. In short, there may be an irregular offer on the HomeAway website, but it is removed as soon as a city council reports it. “But such an agreement is complicated in communities or cities where our activity is being banned,” he said in reference to the Balearic Islands or Madrid.
Finally, they added, with regard to the problem of tourism phobia and the low availability of long-term rentals in some tourist towns, that “many destinations have been so successful that they have encountered a problem that they have not been able to manage. The growth of tourism has not been accompanied by responsible tourism policies.