Council of Santa Maria Maior, in Lisbon, wants to stop new tourism accommodation

  • ECO News
  • 6 September 2018

Santa Maria Maior, which comprises the areas of Alfama, Castelo and Mouraria, wants the new registrations for tourism accommodation to be cancelled in light of the new legislation.

The approval of the new legislation at the Parliment in July is the reason behind the arguments for stopping new registrations, and tourism accommodation units will no longer be a law unto themselves.

Around 800 new tourism accommodation units were registered in the city’s historical centre of Alfama, Castelo and Mouraria during the last month and a half: this is the double of the registrations received the previous year. The council of Santa Maria Maior considers that this number should be halted in Lisboa’s most symbolic neighbourhoods, and wants to pressure for the issue to be handled in this direction.

The new legislation says that permits for the new establishments can’t be officially approved before a “containment area” is outlined in the legislation, but the executive body of the council of Santa Maria Maior considers the new registrations are not a fait accompli; they can still be cancelled.

On the 21st of October, the changes to the legislation will be in full force, and hereby the City Council’s count with new powers, namely the idea of the containment areas, which will be approved and handled by the city councils, consisting in areas that will be protected from tourism exploitation.

Right after the legislation’s enactment, the council of Santa Maria Maior proposed to the Lisbon City Hall the immediate suspension of new registrations in the areas of Alfama, Mouraria, and Castelo, the three neighbourhoods that the council considered had been more affected by tourism accommodations.

For the time being, however, the new registrations can’t be cancelled. Santa Maria Maior needs to wait until the 21st of October, and it might come in handy given the astonishing amount of new registrations recorded between the 17th and the 31st of August: 1300 in Lisbon municipality, in total, for this period, with 349 for Santa Maria Maior, 216 in Misericórdia (Chiado and Cais do Sodré), 149 in Santo António (Avenida da Liberdade, Marquês de Pombal and Rato), and 98 in São Vicente (Graça).