The Ibiza City Council has stated that Airbnb and like companies that provide rentals are affecting its residents negatively. During the summer, Ibiza's tourism peaks. Tourists storm to the island to party. Rather than booking a hotel, they book Airbnbs, which can be half or 75-percent cheaper than a hotel. This leaves the residents that work at the local hotels strapped for work and struggling to make ends meet.
In an effort to curb this problem, the Ibiza City Council has passed legislation that will prohibit tourists renting through platforms like Airbnb in the White Isle district. This isn't entirely news, though. Santa Eulària des Riu's City Council took similar steps just last year. The main island's government concurs with Ibiza City Council's regulations.
Ibiza's City Council's general manager of the tourism department, Vincent Torres, stated:
"The living situation [in Ibiza] has become unsustainable due to the increase in people using digital accommodation brokers [such as Airbnb]. We want to shift the housing situation to benefit long-term residents of the island, as things have spiraled over the past few summers – to no one’s benefit."
Last August, the Balearic Tourism Law was introduced. This law placed a limit on the number of beds that were available to tourists on the Balearic Islands. According to The Times, the limit for beds will sit at 623,624 and will be slashed by 120,000 in a couple of years.
Furthermore, Airbnb and Homeaway hosts will be expected to hold a license. If a license is not obtained and the host is caught, then a fine of up to €400,000 may be imposed.
This new legislation in Ibiza hasn't seemed to shake the local businesses and owners, as they continue to rent out their rooms.
"We already have various acts in place to deal with landlords, and we’re going to really come down on them now more than ever, as we finally have the systems in place to take action," Vincent Torres noted about the Island's continued efforts to try and crack down on those breaking the law. We’re also going to be processing the people marketing these properties, with whom we have a massive issue with, as they tend to do their work from behind closed doors, rather than actually marketing properties in an official manner."
Airbnb is working with Ibiza and its officials to ensure that the beautiful island and its amenities are enjoyed by everyone, especially the residents. The company issued a statement to the City Council in Ibiza:
"We want to work with officials in Ibiza on common sense rules that help local families benefit from tourism in their communities - not just hotels. Airbnb accounts for less than 5-percent of visitors to Ibiza and boosts the Balearic economy by more than half a billion euros - money that typically stays with local families and business."
Ibiza is a major tourist destination, and it's imperative that residents compensated and treated fairly since they ensure the island remains operational for tourists and guests to enjoy.