Travelmatch warns buyers of self-catering Canary Islands holidays to avoid illegal lets

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As a new report points to the 70,000 self-catering beds operating illegally in Gran Canaria, Canary Island holiday specialists Travelmatch advise holidaymakers to book their holidays with reputable agents.


A recent report by the Canary Island tourist board has found that the international economic crisis has now led to 70 per cent of owners of rental properties on Gran Canaria to operate illegally in order to avoid paying tax. Seemingly great holiday deals booked through small local agencies or directly through the owner should be avoided, according to Canary Island holiday specialists Travelmatch, in order to steer clear of any nasty shocks during your holiday.

Richard Bray of online travel specialists Travelmatch says: “Many of these apartment owners are operating so close to the margin that if they did actually pay tax on their earnings, they’d be making a loss. For the holidaymaker, the downsides of these ultra-low rates are clear at first, such as a lack of facilities or amenities such as a cleaning service. However, the real issue is this: if an owner is operating outside of the law, who’s to say what other corners they might be cutting illegally just to save money?”

The report claims that out of 100,000 beds in Gran Canaria, 70,000 are illegally avoiding paying their tourism tax. Experts are pointing to the economic crisis as being the contributing factor in the rise in illegal lets, coupled with lax regulation and genuine confusion on the part of some apartment owners as to what taxes to pay, with duty being waved on some longer-let properties.

Bray continues: “Though this report mentions Gran Canaria specifically, travellers looking at any self-catering holidays on the Canary Islands should generally be wary of this phenomenon. Booking with a reputable firm will ensure your holiday is safe and protected by the appropriate consumer regulations. At Travelmatch, we only represent the top travel operators in the UK, and all our holidays are ATOL protected.”

About Travelmatch:
Travelmatch is a new travel discovery engine that helps inspire customers by matching their requirements to a wide range of holidays, hotels, flights, cruises, villas or city breaks. Unlike other travel sites, customers are not required to choose a destination, date or budget before they can begin searching. Customers are able to make informed decisions by exploring photos, user reviews, maps, events and activities and other fun things relevant to their chosen travel product. Travelmatch, which closed its first funding round in 2010, is based in Notting Hill, London.


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Richard Bray
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