Light at the end of the tunnel

There may be some light at the end of one of our project tunnels. Last friday evening Amanda drew to my attention a newspaper article in ‘El Mundo’ (other Spanish newspapers are available) about some changes which the Galician Xunta voted through on Thursday the 12th May 2011 specifically aimed at giving a helping hand to rural tourism.

Tourism, it seems, is the only growth sector in the struggling Galician economy and it grew last year, bucking a negative trend in all other industries. The target is to develop the industry to a level where it generates 10% of Galicias’ GDP, and employs 10% of the citizens.

The detail is, of course, in Spanish but what I can glean from my ‘Janet & John’ Castillian, coupled with the invaluable services of Babel Fish, enables me (hopefully not mistakenly) to conclude the following;

  • The Xunta have approved a draft new ‘Law on Tourism’ which will enable the creation of ‘geodestinos’, interesting places which are outside city limits, in old or interesting properties, which can benefit from less constrained planning and licensing laws.
  • Apartments and holiday homes will no longer be regulated by the ‘Tenancies Act’.
  • Rural hotels (up to forty beds) will be replaced by ‘Inns’ with less rigorous legislation.
  • Prior permission to begin operating as a rural tourism business is no longer required, just a declaration which the Xunta will check within three months of starting operation.

So setting up the business looks as though it could be more straight-forward, and less tied up in red tape, but unfortunately no explicit mention of; speeding up the planning process, relaxing planning requirements and constraints, or making grants available to rural tourism businesses. We need to get our architect/gestoria on the case and understand their interpretation.

So there is light at the end of one of our journeys tunnels, lets just hope it’s not the lights of an oncoming train!

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2 Responses to Light at the end of the tunnel

  1. Ian says:

    This law has not yet been passed. There is no date as to when and if it will be passed either.
    The proposal is the building for conversion into tourism accommodation must be in an isolated location, antique buildings (no age specified) Or abandoned monuments in rural locations.
    Ref “geodestinos” does not have anything to do with the licence of accommodation it is talking about interesting places…like we are located in the Ribeirasacra. This area is covered by a lot of council areas. These council areas will not be taken into consideration because save money and to make work easier for the workers. It is too complicated to explain in writing. But it will not affect any licence applications for your accommodation business.
    Furanchos is about illegal restaurants.
    Las aldeas rurales have to have a min of 3 buildings which form the same establishment. The therm Hotel Rural is not be used. There is be a max of 40 persons allowed to sleep in them and 2 outside activities associated with this classification of accommodation.
    apartamentos y viviendas de vacaciones this law has been published and will be amended to be outside the law of urban rental ie normal house or flat lets.
    This law will be issued in 10 sections. The laws relating to the isolated houses or the touristic complex is about to be issued.
    Hope this helps

    • Paul says:

      Thanks Ian, it all seems a bit mysterious at the moment and I guess that we won’t really know anything until the law actually gets published.

      When we were in Galicia last week our architect said she was aware of the new laws but not really what was in them. She was going to look into them in more detail.

      You’d hope that the Xunta would be looking to assist people who are setting up rural tourism businesses? But perhaps that is too much to expect.

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