Boom in Alojamento Licences due to website legislation
Eduardo Miranda, president of the Local Accommodation Association in Portugal (ALEP), highlighted the sector's role in boosting tourism, saying that local accommodation allowed a "greater capacity" for accommodation in Portugal, "which was necessary and fundamental in the growth of tourism," and also brought diversity, while improving the competitiveness of tourism in international terms.
“Without local accommodation, it was absolutely impossible to think of the growth that tourism has today,” said Miranda, indicating that this type of tourist accommodation already represents “a third of overnight stays and close to that in terms of the number of guests.”
The head of ALEP said that 94% of local housing providers are small owners with one to three units, in which “72% have a single unit.” “There are something like 30,000 families and micro-enterprises that live and depend on local housing.”
Large entrepreneurs investing in the sector represent “less than 4% of total local accommodation in the major destinations.” In terms of the future, Eduardo Miranda expressed optimism, due to the tourism awards and prizes that the country has received, but reiterates that it is necessary to have legislative stability.
“Portugal is today is at the whim of fashion at the international level and, in this sense, it will of course be necessary to increase the capacity to accommodate people and it is at this point that local accommodation can and will contribute not only in a flexible way, increasing the capacity of accommodation, because without accommodation there is no tourism, but also bringing diversity, that is, people today travel more and want other types of accommodation solution as well,” said the president of ALEP.
For Miranda, the country has gained an international role in ??tourism. “It is perhaps one of the biggest phenomena in terms of international tourism in recent years and this will continue to bring more tourists and more revenue and will continue to be a fundamental engine of the economy,” he said.
As for legality, only a third of local accommodation establishments now are legal but this has grown only due to the obligation for websites to require the AL registration number.
This new legislation has forced the websites to demand AL numbers and it is estimated that this year, of the new registrations, about 18,000, some 6,500 were a result of this new legislation, according to Miranda in an interview with Lusa.
According to data from the National Registry of Local Accommodation Establishments (RNAL), made available by Turismo de Portugal, local accommodation registrations have more than quadrupled in the last three years, going from about 13,000 establishments to the end of 2014, to more than 55,000 registrations currently.
Miranda says that one of the biggest obstacles to the future of the sector is legislative instability, in particular proposals put forward by various parliamentary groups to limit the growth in local accommodation provision.
Up for parliamentary debate is a bill from the Socialist Party which proposes the condominium owners to have the right to veto a member wishing to let his apartment or house, one from the Communist Party of that accommodation for rental has to be authorised by the other owners and that local Councils can limit AL licences and from the Left Bloc to limit total local accommodation rentals to 90 days-a-year.