British tourists hit with new Spain holiday warning over swimming pool rules | World | News

Drought conditions have forced the southern region of Spain to ban pool-filling.

The new rules have left many holiday plans up in the air, with sunseekers worrying that they may not be able to take a cooling dip once they reach their holiday destinations in blistering heat.

The southern region of Andalusia has restricted water usage and banned private homes and communities from filling pools.

Now confusion reigns over the regulations, meaning it could be up to town halls to make a decision about whether public pools or those owned by individuals will be able to be filled.

Holly Doyle is a swimming teacher in Marbella who says that the ban is creating uncertainty over existing holiday bookings.

She said: “It does affect me, but I have lots of access to the sea and I’m always in the water. 

“I’ve heard the ban might be lifted at some point if things improve. It’s still in place at the moment, but it’s not peak season yet, so hopefully,” reports The Scotsman.

She added: “A lot of people around here rely on renting the houses out over the summer. 

« It’s not great, because people will have thought they were hiring a house with a pool. There might be a problem for people who are hiring out their homes – but the the pool isn’t open yet, then they can’t charge the same price. 

“Guests think they’re going to a luxurious villa, but suddenly it doesn’t have a pool.”

Hotels and public pools are not affected by the ban – and some say that this causes resentment between locals and tourists.

Juan García, of tourism agency Travel Spain in Granada, said: « As tourism and agriculture are the main ‘water wasters’, they are also the main income source, economically speaking – at least in Andalusia,” reports The Scotsman.

He added: “That really makes it hard to put a legal and restrictive framework to it, which is equally fair for everyone.”

Travel experts say demand for bookings in regions affected by the drought has fallen in recent weeks and Airbnb says it is advising hosts in affected areas over how to inform guests about the situation in their listings.

The rising tensions between holidaymakers and tourists come as protests have erupted in holiday destinations across Europe – including mainland Spain – against what they call overtourism.

In the Canaries and the Balearics, residents have pleaded for crackdowns on visitor numbers. In Tenerife, thousands took to the streets to protest for the cause.

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