AL owners protest in Lisbon

Mais Habitacao programme – decision soon

Portuguese Assembly, where AL owners protested

SchengenVisaInfo.com  reports that holiday rental (AL) accommodation owners in Lisbon have protested in front of the Parliament, raising concerns regarding the new legislative package under the Mais Habitacao programme.

According to local media, the Local Accommodation Association in Portugal (ALEP) have come together with their joint concerns about the potential of new measures’ impact on their business and the industry, as they expect that the new legislation will harm the industry.

A group of demonstrators entered the Assembly, delivering a petition that highlighted the concerns of these measures, which are expected to affect the sector negatively.

On the other hand, the Mais Habitacao programme approved by the Council of Ministers previously includes measures such as the forced leasing of vacant houses, the end of golden visas as well as the suspension of new local accommodation licences.

AL owners protest in Lisbon 1

The government proposal includes a solution for the housing crisis, which includes renting but also imposes more restrictions on local accommodation. This is the main reason for sparking opposition and mobilisation of accommodation owners across the country.

The legislative package will be under review in the upcoming weeks, and decisions are yet to be made.

As the end of golden visas has been announced, the Portuguese Prime Minister proposed a ban on issuing licences for short-term holiday rentals. 

Nearly 92 per cent of all Golden Visa applicants are related to real estate investments in the country. The proposal remains in public debate.

“The government made dramatic announcements, but we don’t know the details yet. If these measures are passed as they were announced, that will have a huge impact on not only vacation rentals but also tourism in the country. But I believe the proposal requires a lot of polishing,” Founder and CEO of Lisbon-based property management firm Rent4Rest, Filipa Leitão de Aguiar.

During the first quarter of the year, the number of foreign tourists to Portugal exceeded 2.8 million, while the number of foreigners staying in Portuguese hotels was 1.8 million more than in the previous year and 2.5 million more than in the pre-pandemic levels, which was a record year for tourism.

Britons remain the largest tourism market for Portugal, followed by Spaniards and Americans, and in March alone, more than 1.2 million international visitors were recorded. The reason for particularly more visitors noticed in March can be related to the devastating earthquake in Türkiye as people are more uncertain about visiting that region and opt for Portugal instead.

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