The creation of a Porto Municipal Tourist Tax, which might reach two euros per night, is designed to solve housing problems and omits improvements in the tourism sector, claims the Hospitality Association of Portugal. The City Council explained, “the proceeds of this levy are to be applied in projects aimed at promoting housing for the middle and lower middle class in the historic centre to accelerate the repopulation and curb pressures from real estate development.
Lisbon has experienced the greatest decline in the number of young adults within Portugal in recent years. One factor contributing to the drop is the difficulty in finding affordable housing. In 2012, the median rent in Lisbon was €268, according to INE (“Instituto Nacional de Estatística”). In 2016, the average climbed to €830.
But high rent is only part of the problem. The ageing of the population is at the root of the decrease. In 1991, Lisbon had 138 seniors for every 100 young people (from 0 to 14 years old). By 2016, the number of elderly rose to 182, a proportional increase of 24%, making Lisbon the oldest council in the nation. Provisional population estimates advanced by INE indicate that the number of young people aged between 20 and 34 living in Lisbon went down from 95,830 in 2011 to 67,916 in 2016, a net loss of 29%.
The Portuguese brand, Lifecooler, announced that it is transforming university residences into Local Lodging during the peak summer months. A pilot project began this August in Lisbon. Designated as “Rooms & Experiences”, the initiative started with a residence with 48 rooms and 68 beds located in the Lumiar district.
The Government is studying a new requirement for Local Lodging that would mandate higher condominium levies for owners who engage in holiday lets. If adopted, it would collide with another bill where the condominiums would be given the power to authorise, on a case-by-case basis, the possibility of owners renting short-term to tourists. The latter proposal was made in absentia and without the governmental consent.
Local Lodging accounted for 480,161 overnight stays in Madeira in 2016. The Regional Statistics Bureau (DREM) study confirms a growth of 53.3% in this parameter as compared with 2015. 93,067 guests accounted for these visits with stays averaging over five nights. Germans m made up 24.7% of “AL” overnights and were the largest national group.
The aggregate tourism turnover rose 17% last year to 3,075 million euros. The number of holiday makers jumped to 19 million, an increase of 10%. By geographical distribution, the greatest concentration of tourist beds continues to be the Algarve, with one-third of the total. Lisbon accounted for almost 20%.
The average cost of Local Lodging increased 4.6% in the centre of Lisbon and 0.3% in the historical neighbourhoods of Oporto in the first half of 2017 as compared to the previous six months period according to a recent study.
Over the past 12 months, Airbnb has removed 1,036 Barcelona-based local lodging units from its website. The measure was mandated by the city of Barcelona which considered that the units were being commercialised illegally. According to figures from the municipality, 15% of illegal lets are placed on Airbnb by tenants and not by the property owner.
The latest official statistics from the “INE” (Instituto Nacional de Estatísticas) may prove to be flawed since their records only take into account 1,831 official “AL” offerings. In contrast, the National Registry of Local Lodging (RNAL) tallies almost 50,000 enrolled “AL” establishments. Beyond these “aboveboard” businesses, there are still thousands of “underground” units in operation.
Over the past 12 months, the city of Barcelona has ordered the closure of 2,332 apartments operating illegally as local lodging establishments. Authorities also fined another 3,473 operators in amounts ranging from €3,000 to €60,000 as part of their “zero tolerance” policy.