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!