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The Autonomous Region of Madeira already has more than 39,400 beds for tourism. However, only the beds of tourist enterprises are taken into account for the accounting of the Hospitality statistics, which are released on a monthly basis. And in this context, up to July, there were 30,922 beds. The remaining ones, more than 8,500 are already beds of the Local Accommodation, which, to date, are not counted, but only monitored, since they are a relatively recent segment (2014 with the new legislation), but that has had an exponential growth not only in Madeira and Porto Santo, as in the whole country.

In the last update of this sub sector, there were 1,619 units of local accommodation, with 6,530 beds in 3,927 rooms and capacity for 8,745 customers. We were on 27 March 2017. At the beginning of the second week of September 2017, there were 2,145 units (+ 24.5%) of local accommodation, with 8,522 beds (+ 23.3%) in rooms and with capacity to house 11,671 users. In five months, more than 430 new registrations and one occupancy (dormidas), which already surpassed in June (320,698) the same ones of 2015 (313,290) and already approached the indicators of all the year 2016 (480,161). With July and August closed and September already near the end, the summer months that represent the largest occupation of the year in regional tourism, surely these values ​​have already been exceeded. To do so, it would suffice that the 61,648 overnight stays of June in the local accommodation in Madeira were repeated, which would give a cumulative in the three months of 184,944 overnight stays. Accounts made, until September and still remaining three months to close 2017, the local housing would already exceed 505 thousand nights, thus representing a potential growth of 5.5%.

Hospitality is not threatened With more than 4.3 million overnight stays in an average of 28,915 beds by July 2017, hotels in the Autonomous Region of Madeira should not feel threatened by these numbers, even in the face of the rapid growth of local accommodation. It should be noted that this sector which at the end of 2016 had 5,218 beds (capacity for housing) now exceeds 8,500 beds, which means that counting for statistics would already represent more than 25% of all accommodation capacity tourism in Madeira.

Even so, given its characteristics, local accommodation is far away, perhaps it will never threaten the predominance and the power of conventional hotel industry, which, even with a slight slowdown in growth, continues to perform the best ever, moving to another year of in the number of guests (833,994), bed occupancy rate (70.8% until July), overnight stays, room benefits (149 million or + 8.9%) and total income (231 , 4 million euros, or 8.6% more). Numbers that were devastating and that are not possible to calculate, at least with official data, in the local accommodation that, however, in its more than 320 thousand overnight stays until June had a growth of 59.5% compared to the first six months of last year.

The vast majority of the guests staying in the local accommodation continue to be foreigners with 258,444 (+ 55.5% compared to the first half of 2016), compared to 62,254 Portuguese (+ 78.4%). Even so, we must note something factual: before the 70,641 guests who sought local accommodation in the first half of the year, there are still 690,802 who in the same period preferred to continue in conventional tourist accommodation. This means that, even in the face of the strong growth of local accommodation, the standardisation and rooting of Madeiran hotels will hardly be threatened, especially in times of economic growth, as this new cycle appears to represent.

Occupancy rate in August in the 75% In a quick and simple search in the main site rental site for accommodation, the ‘Airbnb’, you can find prices well considered and others well above the reasonable for anyone looking for this type of tourist accommodation, mainly seeks to save money. For a couple with smaller children there are prices ranging from 41 euros to 125 euros (in Porto Santo, per day, would be for 254 euros in a beach house with six beds). However, with so much supply already available in the regional market, the truth is that in the survey made last Thursday, for stay from August 27 to September 2, availability is almost all on the south coast, leaving at that time only 25 % of the offer available on this portal. This means that, on the basis of the information provided, at that time and by the end of August, the local housing rate was at 75%.

To summarise and conclude, the RAM has about 30 thousand beds, to which the other 8,500 of the local accommodation are added. But according to DAILY, you cannot add the sum because the direct intervention of Madeira Tourism and that which is considered for the purposes of statistics, respects the tourist enterprises (see Definitions).

Even the Tourism Planning Plan (POT) is based on this indicator (tourist enterprises) and not on the other, although the regional entities are attentive to the phenomenon. In fact, it was in the current mandate and through the Regional Secretariat for Tourism, SRETC, that a working group was created for the first time to study, monitor and monitor the evolution of local accommodation, which to record and complete the formalities that had not been carried out before.

 POT limit only in 10 years.

The question of the 40,000 beds as a reference value for the time horizon of the POT – 2017-2027 – provided for in Regulation 07 of Annex I of DLR No. 15/2017 of June 6, “is established only for beds of tourist enterprises , it is not a housing capacity that we intend to achieve in 2027, but a limit forecast for that year, “argues the SRETC. In fact, this value was established on the basis of the number of beds that existed at the time the sector program was drawn up, adding up the beds of the tourist projects made possible and applying a growth rate in line with expectations of demand growth according to official data from the World Tourism Organisation (WTO).

The same Rule 07 also establishes that, when the 40,000 beds in operation are reached, the monitoring of the POT must be carried out and weighted the need to anticipate its revision, in whole or in part. In other words, the growth of the provision of beds for local accommodation establishments is not easy to reconcile, because “it is a recent phenomenon, so there are no historical facts that allow us to construct credible scenarios, not even to know whether or not it will be a passenger “He points out. And there are two reasons for this.

 The first is that such an establishment, because it relies solely on a registry in which no major requirements are required for its operation, is extremely volatile, being placed and removed from the rental market very quickly for reasons connected with the economy, to tourism, but also to reasons that are completely external to tourism, such as personal ones; second, although integrated in very efficient reservation systems that facilitate the growth of demand in this type of accommodation, the difficulties of air transport to the RAM, do not allow to obtain levels of demand comparable to those of the tourist enterprises, that more easily reach the operators .

Finally, as a consequence of this monitoring, the POT determines (in Rule 07) that whenever the offer of this type of accommodation exceeds annual growth of 3% for 3 consecutive years, in the current legal framework regulating this type of tourist accommodation, measures should be taken to analyse and mitigate impacts resulting from the balance of the provision of tourist accommodation or possibly the POT to be reviewed in whole or in part with the aim of reassessing the conditions of sustainability and imposing a rhythm of growth that is consonant with them.

These indicators are expected to be reached by the end of 2017 – numbers to be checked in early 2018 – which will imply such a reassessment and revision of the POT earlier than expected.

In the name of quality and in the interest of consumers and free and healthy competition in the market, the Regional Authority for Economic Activities (ARAE) is currently strengthening its involvement in the provision of local accommodation throughout the Region.

Currently offering more than 8,500 beds, in the sum of Madeira and Porto Santo, with more than 2 thousand units to be included in the National Registry of Local Accommodation (RNAL) and with greater expression in the municipalities of Funchal, Calheta and Santa Cruz.

According to the Regional Inspector of Economic Activities, Rogério Gouveia, “the scope of the inspection itself, in order to integrate, in this assessment that it is made in the field, not only the establishments that are registered in the National Register but also those who, not being, fulfill this function with the public, alerting them to the necessity of this regularization.

In practice, it reinforces, “even where establishments are duly registered, it is essential to assess whether the characteristics announced in the sale are in conformity, whether the legally required safety conditions are met, whether or not there is a complaint book available in the accommodation and if the offer is advertised with the respective registration number “. This is because ARAE assumes this competence in the Region, with the Regional Directorate for Tourism and the Working Group set up by the Regional Secretariat for Economy, Tourism and Culture, the complementary work of monitoring and monitoring of numbers “.

In this context of greater attention to the phenomenon of local accommodation, Rogério Gouveia goes on to point out that during the past month of July, the supervising Authority developed a joint supervisory action with the Tax Authority, replicating in the Region the action that was by the ASAE. At the same time, he emphasized, “we are having a more attentive and active presence, both in Madeira and Porto Santo, with the owners of this type of establishment, so that there is a greater awareness of the law and what they should be the guarantees given to consumers, “he concludes.