San Sebastián (EFE).- The San Sebastián City Council temporarily suspends the granting of new accommodation licenses (hotels and tourist apartments), while the General Plan on this matter is reviewed. The objective of the review will be to limit the growth of the accommodation offer in the city.
The Old Town, a saturated area
The mayor of San Sebastián, Eneko Goia, and the Councilor for Sustainable Urban Planning, Nekane Arzallus, announced this measure at a press conference in which they explained that the suspension will last for one year or until the General Plan is approved.
The suspension affects all types of accommodation, hotels and tourist homes, in any urban plot in the neighborhoods of Antiguo-Ondarreta, Ategorrieta-Ulía, Centro, Gros and Ibaeta.
In the rest of the city, licenses will only be denied for urban use plots. The Old Town is excluded because it has already been declared a saturated zone.
Goia explained that in the event that the General Plan is initially approved during this year of suspension, the City Council may extend the measure for another year until the final approval of the new regulation.
18,000 accommodation places
The mayor has clarified that in 2011 the city started with a deficit in the lodging offer, which made it difficult for it to compete in the congress and events sector.
After the end of terrorism and a decade of expansion of tourism around the world, the number of tourist accommodation places in the city has undergone a significant increase.
In fact, San Sebastián now has some 18,000 accommodation places, an amount that has increased by 40% in the last six years, according to Arzallus.
In the capital of San Sebastián there are 162 hotels and pensions, with a total of 3,825 rooms, while there are 1,352 tourist homes, with an estimated capacity of 5,700 beds.
The mayor has alluded to the “balance” that the city needs to achieve to offer a sustainable tourist offer. He has cited measures to limit accommodation places adopted by his government in recent years, such as the regulation of tourist apartments, which, according to his data, reduced the number of these accommodations by 25%.
It has specified that in the year 2022 there were no new applications for hotel licenses, although there were for tourist homes, which were compensated by losses, so the total offer did not rise.
“San Sebastián has a sufficient offer of accommodation. It is time to limit the opening of new hotel businesses”, stated the mayor.
The mayor explained that the decision responds to San Sebastián’s strategy of promoting a “sustainable and manageable” tourist activity that enables a balance between use and enjoyment both by its inhabitants and by those who visit the city.”
Goia recalled that, despite the suspension, new hotels will soon open in the city, whose license had already been approved or was being processed before the adoption of this measure. These are the cases of the Bellas Artes hotel or the Miraconcha hotel.
The temporary suspension of the granting of licenses will be approved at the local Governing Board on Tuesday and must be ratified in plenary session at the end of the month.