Supreme Court Backs Home Sharing in the Canary Islands

Home sharing in the Canary Islands is about to get easier as the Spanish Supreme Court has overturned a ban on home sharing on the islands.

The court announced on Friday, January 25 that it will lift a ban on renting private rooms, following a decision in December to also allow hosts to rent entire homes.

The decision is good news for hosts across the Canary Islands, who had faced some of the most restrictive travel and tourism rules in Europe – a situation that the Supreme Court said “does not make sense”.

“The only plausible explanation for this shortcoming is to favor the offer of traditional tourist accommodation mainly present in these tourist areas, thereby violating free competition,” it said.

The news is a welcome boost to people-powered tourism on the islands, which is affordable, authentic, inclusive and sustainable.

“The decisions from the Supreme Court are good news for local hosts and healthy tourism that spreads benefits to everyone – families, businesses and communities – on the Canary Islands. Now we want to move forward and work together with local, regional and national governments – as well as other tourism players – to develop modern and sustainable rules that work for everyone.”

Sergio Vinay, Airbnb Public Policy Lead for Spain and Portugal

A report presented at the OECD Forum – Healthy Travel and Healthy Destinations – on the economics of different tourism models in popular destinations around the world shows that for every dollar Airbnb guests spend on accommodation, 87 cents goes to local hosts.

Alternatively, for tourists that book a major hotel chain through an online travel agency, somewhere between 14 and 35 cents of each traveler dollar is paid out in franchise fees, management fees and OTA commissions, which might not ever reach the local community.