In Catalonia, there are several types of tourist accommodations that can be found, including: Tourist apartments, Rural houses, Villas and chalets, Hostels and guesthouses, Camping and bungalows. Catalan legislation has established different types of tourist accommodations and/or vacation rentals based on their uses and characteristics. Today we want to focus on the two most important ones: tourist apartments and tourist use dwellings (VUT).
What is the definition of tourist apartments?
According to Law 13/2002, of June 21, on tourism in Catalonia, tourist apartments are accommodations that are rented by days, weeks or months, and are furnished and equipped for immediate use. They are located in multi-family buildings and can be rented in full or individual rooms. They are regulated by this Law and must comply with a series of requirements, such as obtaining a license and complying with safety and quality standards.
What is the definition of tourist use dwellings (VUT)?
A tourist use dwelling (VUT) according to the same Law 13/2002, of June 21, on tourism in Catalonia, are tourist accommodations that are located in residential buildings and are owned by individuals. These accommodations are also regulated by this Law and must comply with the established requirements, such as obtaining a license and complying with safety and quality standards. In addition, owners of VUTs must comply with a series of obligations, such as informing guests of community rules and ensuring the maintenance of the dwelling. Both types of tourist accommodations are very popular in Catalonia and offer tourists a wide variety of options for their stay in the region.
Now, according to the definitions described, what is the difference between a tourist apartment and a VUT in Catalonia?
The main difference between a tourist apartment and a vacation rental property (VUT) in Catalonia is the ownership of the accommodation. Tourist apartments are owned by tourism companies, while VUTs are privately owned properties.
Another important difference is the location of the accommodations. Tourist apartments are located in multi-family buildings and are exclusively intended for tourist use. VUTs, on the other hand, are located in residential buildings and can be owned by individuals or companies. These properties are used for both tourist and residential purposes.
In addition, Catalan regulations establish different requirements and obligations for each type of accommodation. For example, tourist apartments must meet a series of requirements and obtain a specific license for their tourist activity. VUTs must also comply with Catalan regulations, but in this case, the activity license is granted to the individual or legal entity owning the property.
Another difference is that VUTs have limitations on the number of days per year that they can be rented for tourist purposes. In Catalonia, the regulations state that VUTs cannot be rented for more than 120 days per year.
In summary, although tourist apartments and VUTs share many similarities, such as being regulated by the same Catalan regulations and complying with the same quality and safety requirements, the main difference lies in the ownership and use of the accommodation. Tourist apartments are owned by tourism companies and are exclusively intended for tourist use, while VUTs are privately owned properties that can be used for both tourist and residential purposes.
Which is better for me to open, a tourist apartment or a VUT in Catalonia?
The decision to open a tourist apartment or a vacation rental home (VUT) in Catalonia will depend on several factors, such as the location of the accommodation, the necessary investment, income expectations, and the availability of time and resources for the management of the accommodation.
In general terms, tourist apartments may be a more suitable option if you have a higher budget since they usually require a higher investment in the acquisition or rental of a property and in its adaptation for tourist use. Additionally, the management of tourist apartments may require more dedication and a more solid business structure.
On the other hand, VUTs may be a more suitable option if you have a property that can be adapted for tourist use, as the necessary investment may be lower. They may also be a more suitable option if you have limited time for the management of the accommodation, as it is possible to hire a company to manage tourist accommodations that takes care of cleaning, maintenance, and reservation management tasks.
In any case, it is important to consider the Catalan regulations regarding the requirements and obligations for each type of accommodation, as well as the taxes and fees corresponding to tourist activity. It is also recommended to conduct a market study and evaluate the demand for tourist accommodation in the area where you intend to operate to make an informed and profitable decision.