HOTSPOT: Malaga tourism figures have soared

THE boom in tourism and holiday rentals is making housing inaccessible on the Costa del Sol and in Malaga, according to poverty charity Caritas. 

In recent years, the number of flats being bought exclusively to rent out to tourists has skyrocketed, meaning there is less space for locals.

And because of the wealthy tourists who often visit Malaga and the coast, owners can afford to keep them empty until the high season.

This ensures maximum profits for landlords, who, in some areas, rose rent prices by 25% last year alone.

SIZZLING: Benalmadena beach during summer

Between 2012 and 2016, supply of short-term holiday rentals skyrocketed by 1,633% in 22 cities that together represent 84.5% of all city tourism in the country.

Residents of Barcelona see tourism as the city’s main problem – even though 83% recognize that it provides benefits – as it leads to overcrowding while rental prices have soared, impacting vulnerable families trying to get out of poverty the most.

But Caritas also blames the phenomenon of ‘aporophobia’ for failing to help vulnerable families.

Labelled Spain’s ‘Word of the Year’ last year, the term means ‘fear of the poor’ and refers to a supposed growing trend in Spanish society of marginalising those living in poverty.

Director of Caritas in Malaga Gabriel Leal said many families are rejected by landlords ‘because of their history of poverty, even though they have guaranteed government support for three years’, meaning the rent would be guaranteed.

The charity is calling for more public resources to help deal with the growing homeless crisis.

There are currently 243 beds in Malaga city but this is not enough and more needs to be done, it added.