sol naciente


The year 2013 has ended with a record 60,661,073 tourists arriving in Spain, which represents a 5.6% increase over a very good preceding year.

Most of the main markets registered a growth, Italy excepted. Of special note is the increase in the absolute number of tourists of the Nordic, British and French markets. Rusia and China stood out in terms of year-on-year rates, with strong increases of 31.6% and 35.1% respectively. 

In the month of December, Spain received 3.1 million international tourists, which is a 16.3% increase compared to the same month of the previous year.


United Kingdom issued 20.3% of tourists in December and grew by 20.2%. The Canaries got 46% of UK arrivals with a 9.2% increase.

 German tourists grew by 18.4% and represented 15.4% of all arrivals during this month.

 The French market represented 17.2% of all arrivals.

The Nordic Countries saw a year-on-year increase of 12.1%.

Italy got off the decreasing path this month with a spectacular growth of 17.2%.

Of the remaining markets, Russia, the Netherlands and U.S.A. stood out with respective increases of 41.5%, 28.5% and 20.9%.


 Regarding access routes, both roads (16.1%) and airports (17.1%) saw an increase.


64.7% of all tourists chose hotel establishments, which have seen a year-on-year increase of 22.7%.

Non-hotel accommodation, on its part, increased by 6.2% in December.


71% of all international tourists visited Spain without a holiday package, which is a 20.4% increase compared to the same month of the previous year.

Source: TourSpain – http://www.tourspain.es



boton bamder esp. pequeñoSegún datos provisionales el año 2013 ha terminado con la llegada record a España de 60.661.073 turistas, lo que supone un incremento del 5,6 respecto de muy buen año anterior.

Casi todos los principales mercados registraron crecimientos, excepto Italia. Destacaron los incrementos en número absoluto de turistas del mercado nórdico, británico y francés. En tasas interanuales sobresalieron Rusia y China, con fuertes subidas del 31,6% y 35,1% respectivamente.

En el mes de diciembre España recibió 3,1  millones de turistas internacionales, con un aumento del 16,3% en relación al mismo mes del año anterior


 Reino Unido emitió el 20,3% de turistas en diciembre y creció un 20,2%. Canarias acaparó el 46% de sus llegadas con un aumento de un 9,2%.

 Los turistas alemanes aumentaron un 18,4% y supusieron el 15,4% de las llegadas este mes.

 El mercado francés acaparó el 17,2% de las llegadas totales.

 Los países nórdicos registraron un incremento interanual del 12,1%.

 Italia abandona la senda negativa este mes con un espectacular crecimiento del 17,2%.

Del resto de mercados destacaron Rusia, Países Bajos y EEUU, con aumentos de un 41,5%, 28,5% y 20,9% respectivamente


En relación a las vías de acceso, la carretera (16,1%) y el aeropuerto (17,1%) protagonizaron sendos aumentos.


El 64,7% de turistas se decantaron por establecimientos hoteleros, colectivo que ha mostrado un incremento interanual del 22,7%.

Por su parte, el alojamiento no hotelero aumentó un 6,2% en diciembre.


El 71% de los turistas internacionales acudieron a España sin paquete turístico, aumentando un 20,4% en relación al mismo mes del año anterior.

Los turistas con paquete aumentaron un 7,5%. 

Fuente: Encuesta Frontur-Turespaña



The term “condo-hotel” is a combination of the words “condominium” and “hotel”. The current tendency to shorten expressions as much as possible has resulted in the use of synonyms such as “condhotel”, “condotel” and “contel” (the latter especially in American English).

Obviously, first of all we need to know what the term refers to and, as we are in the Internet era, and despite the fact that its legal reliability can be put in question,  the famous Wikipedia defines it <quite rightly in my opinion> as “a building, which is legally a condominium but which is operated as a hotel, offering short term rentals, and which maintains a Front Desk”.

This definition is nothing short of an explanation of the two words whose combination has created the term “condo-hotel”. On the one hand there is the condominium, i.e. a building or group of buildings held under joint ownership, with legally independent elements (apartments) in addition to communal elements, which is intended to be operated as a hotel for short stays and offers the tourist-hotel services which we commonly and simplistically associate with the “reception desk” of a tourist establishment.

After this short introduction, it seems appropriate to split this article into several sections which will be published in this blog in several instalments as per the following index:


 II.- LEGAL STRUCTURE IN SPAIN: (i) Ownership and  (ii) Operation.

 III.- THE CLIENT: Investor and/or Consumer?




 It is really quite difficult to trace the birth of condotels back to a specific date. A brief search on the Internet seems to indicate that the first of this kind of establishments “was created in Miami Beach, Florida, in the 1980s”, as described in a number of websites as:

http://es.investmentpropertiesmexico.com/node/1480  http://www.condohotelcenter.com/ask-expert/history-of-condo-hotels.htm.

The above statement appears to be valid as far as the United States is concerned, as hotels existed earlier in Europe which were operated under the same or a similar system at that time, and even long before then.

In looking at the history of condo-hotels in Spain, I must refer to the Third Edition (I do not know whether condo-hotels were covered in the previous editions) of Fuentes Lojo’s Suma de la Propiedad por Apartamentos, published in 1978 and in which, referred to as “Apartahoteles”, the legal structure of the current “condo-hotels” was studied in depth, with specific examples of establishments already operated in Spain at the time and whose fundamental aspects in terms of their legal structure have experienced little change.

It is pointed out at the beginning of Chapter XV-II of this voluminous work that the concept of “apartahotel” seemed to be very common at the time in Spain and abroad, such a concept is therein defined (hence its coincidence with the current concept commonly known as condo-hotel) as “a resort which does not only comprise a building divided into more or less apartments, but a combination of the latter with various facilities and services which form a unitary whole”.


Revista Hogares Modernos

Revista Hogares Modernos 1968

The author of the aforementioned work starts by quoting issue no. 20 of the magazine Hogares Modernos, published on 20th January 1968, which included an extract of the aparthotel project at Calle Capitán Haya in Madrid known as “Hotel Meliá Castilla”, analysing its technical characteristics which, I dare say, continue to be valid at the present date.

But what is relevant for the purposes of this article is the author’s summary and analysis of its legal characteristics which, in essence, continue to be valid at present, at least with regard to its strict regulation in terms of civil law.

Apathotel (condo-hotel) Meliá Castilla in Madid

Apathotel (condo-hotel) Meliá Castilla in Madid

Therefore, in actuality it is a condominium, i.e. a building with independent private elements (apartments and business premises) which involve a certain degree of participation – expressed as a percentage – in the communal elements and areas. Its fundamental characteristic is that the private elements (studio-type apartments, apartments with more than one room and even with a kitchenette) do not have the status of a residential dwelling but, according to tourism regulations, are legally classified as accommodation units which fall within one of the various kinds of hotel establishment.

The Statutes of the Community of Property Owners ‘Meliá-Castilla’, which are inherent in any building subject to a ‘horizontal division’, contain the mandatory rules of the Ley de Propiedad Horizontal or L.P.H. (fundamentally designed for application to residential dwellings) but, at the same time, as a community of purpose (destination community), contain rules to enable these hotel apartments to be used for dwelling purposes or for ‘rental’ purposes by the Administration company. A dual use which, as we will see, is not possible at present.

Indeed, it is stated in Article 1 of these rules that the apartments and business premises have been built and sold under the administration (we would now say operation or management) of the Private Company Aparthotel, which in addition is thereby appointed Secretary of the Community and may only be removed from the said office by the passing of a unanimous resolution, as was then required for approval of any amendment to the Constitutional Deed of the Community.


Failing to disclose the whole name of the tourist development – as he merely calls it ‘S Chain’– the author of the aforesaid work goes on to list the rules by which the ‘operation’ is to be governed.

This is the fundamental characteristic of this ‘system’, in which the purpose of the underlying community of property owners of the buildings divided horizontally (condominium) is strictly that envisaged by the current Ley de Propiedad Horizontal or L.P.H. (Horizontal Property Act) but, in addition, as a specific characteristic which sets it apart from the remaining “aparthotel systems then being used”, the owners accept a set of pre-established ‘operation’ rules, apparently of a merely contractual nature (adhesion rules), whereby the said owners assign their apartment to the S Chain for the latter to rent it out.

Therefore, the fundamental and differentiating characteristic here is that the purchasers of the apartments assign them for ‘rental’ to third parties and the apartments are managed as a unit of operation on the basis of the prices set by the administrator considering several parameters such as market prices, tourist movements, occupation level, etc.

In this Aparthotel Chain, the owners share in the net proceeds thereby obtained regardless of whether the apartments owned by them have been rented out for a longer or a shorter period or have not been rented out at all (deducting the time during which the owner of the apartment has used it).

The net proceeds equate to the resulting net income, which will be distributed among the owners in proportion to the purchase price of their apartment. Consequently, reputable Swiss or English auditors of accounts will be appointed in order to ensure a proper control and to safeguard the owners’ interests.

As mentioned, the rules of operation do not regulate the community of property owners or form part of the statutes of the community of property owners. The community of property owners envisaged by the Ley de Propiedad Horizontal is governed by the relevant provisions in force and, therefore, all the owners have to contribute to the maintenance of the community and of the building in proportion to the coefficient assigned to their private element in the Constitutional Deed of the Community.

It is, in conclusion, another ‘legal structure’ according to Spanish Law which is intended – as the previous structures – to reconcile the ownership of a private element within a community of numerous members with the communal “mercantile” operation of the accommodation units of which the building is fundamentally comprised.







This Chain’s business was to promote, build and finally operate all the buildings bearing the name of Eurotel, which would be managed under the sole direction of Eurotel Española.

It amazes that this Chain already had a sort of “internal exchange” system in the sixties/seventies whereby the purchase of an apartment in a certain Eurotel building (which was called a ‘Eurotel Unit’) gave the purchaser the status of a ‘Eurotelman’, which gave them the right to:

     (I)  The operation of their ‘Eurotel Unit’ on a hotel basis,

     (ii)  As a consequence of the above, enjoy the benefits arising out of such an operation; and

     (iii)  The right to use, as if it were an internal exchange and ‘on a preferential basis’ (i.e. at no charge), not only the unit purchased by them but also any of the existing units in:

a)      The Spanish Eurotel Chain; or

b)      The International Organisation Eurotel.


This concept is so amazingly contemporary right now that its Rules of Use did provide the following:

  • Art. 1.- “The Spanish Eurotel Chain is the group of existing and future hotel buildings in Spain which upon starting to be operated become integrated into the said Chain for a common purpose” (community of purpose)
  • “The use and enjoyment of the independent Units and business premises shall be in accordance with their intended hotel use”
  • “The owners are also entitled to share in the profits arising out of the exclusive operation of the Units and to enjoy a reduced price at each Eurotel…”


  • Art. 2.- Eurotelman Cards.- By becoming part of the Eurotel Chain, the owner receives a card – white in colour, numbered – reflecting their personal circumstances and the details of their Unit, which vests in them the status of Eurotelman and is the only document which entitles its holder to accommodation with such a status. Does it not remind us of the Membership Certificate?

Other cards will also be issued in their name to the persons appointed by the owner (whom we would today call a ‘beneficiary’) up to a maximum of two cards per usable bed…The status of <<beneficiary>> can be given to any person appointed by the Eurotelman.

The latter mention of “any Eurotelman”, i.e. an appeal to the pride and satisfaction of being a ‘Eurotelman’, is a modern and extraordinarily current psychological tactic to promote customers’ loyalty and which would probably only need to include ‘Eurotelwoman’ nowadays – or be replaced by another term applicable to both genders.

  • Art. 3… Additionally, the cards exempt them (the beneficiary) from immediate payment of the amounts owed, which will be paid off annually…


Hotel Punta Roja

It is stated in the Statutes of the Community, among other things, that:

  • It is a travellers’ hotel.
  • Given its very nature as a <<travellers’ hotel>>, each of the apartments which are part of it, and their annexes, are intended to be operated as a hotel.
  • The use of each apartment may be assigned by O.O.E., S.A. (the management company) both to the Eurotelman member of the international chain and to persons unrelated to it at times when its owner will not be using it as a result of failing to make their annual reservation in the form detailed in the Rules of the Eurotel Chain.

Such a special case must, in my opinion, refer to the strict use of the apartment as a hotel unit, therefore excluding the use thereof for residential purposes or to fulfil its owner’s need of a dwelling – even on a temporary basis or as a holiday residence.

Such an exclusion of use for residential purposes is nowadays in Spain one of the legally demandable characteristics of the so-called condo-hotels.

The aforementioned precedents (and there were many more in Spain and in the rest of Europe) were, and are, important, and they have in relation to certain aspects become outdated, but even though they contain ‘for these purposes’ the archaic name aparthotel, they actually are what nowadays is being called a ‘condo-hotel’.

One final note on the current meaning in Spain, at least from a tourist-legal point of view, of the terms aparthotel or hotel-apartment, which are not in any way synonyms of the term ‘condo-hotel’ as they only refer to one kind or type of hotel ‘accommodation unit’ which, depending on the tourism laws of the relevant region or ‘Autonomous Community’ of Spain, may be called ‘hotel-apartment’, ‘aparthotel’, etc, but is normally only a hotel subcategory.

This word does not at present refer to ‘ownership’ or to the rights of the owner as such or to a dual form of marketing ownership and operation, but to something more simple: the ‘physical’ characteristics of the units and the tourist establishment of which they are a part, and the inherent services which must be provided in it.

It should not at all be denied, but acknowledged, that the concept which revolves around the very successful term ‘condo-hotel’ – or ‘condotel’ – must be linked to the improved, more current commercial formula whose beginnings date back to the early eighties in the United States and which today, with the necessary variations imposed by each country’s legislation, is well-deservedly leading this constantly evolving market.

Lizarza Abogados, November 2013

Next instalment: CONDO-HOTEL – LEGAL STRUCTURE IN SPAIN:(I) Ownership & (ii) Operation.

Glosario de los nuevos productos vacacionales……nuevas entradas

Se han incorporado nuevos término al Glosario:


Los periodos en que los alojamientos que se explotan bajo la fórmula de “tiempo compartido” o aprovechamiento por turno que  están “desocupados”,  se suelen arrendar por su titular a terceros (turistas), con lo que de esa forma los titulares de los derechos de ocupación pueden tener un ingreso extra.

En España la naturaleza jurídica de esta clase de “arrendamientos” puede ser discutida tanto a efectos prácticos como teóricos, pero en todo caso no es una cuestión sin importancia, ya que si se trata del “arrendamiento de vivienda por temporada” nos podríamos encontrar con la obligación del arrendador de exigir al arrendatario una fianza equivalente a  dos mensualidades de renta (aunque el arrendamiento sea de una semana),  lo que no ocurre  si se trata de la ocupación de un alojamientos turístico.

La propia Ley de Arrendamientos Urbanos de 1994 (modificada el día 04.06.13 ) excluye como arrendamiento (Art. 5.e ):  “ la cesión temporal de uso de la totalidad de una vivienda amueblada y equipada en condiciones de uso inmediato, comercializada o promocionada en canales de oferta turística y realizada con finalidad lucrativa, cuando esté sometida a un régimen específico, derivado de su normativa sectorial”.

La diferencia es que en un arrendamiento llamémosle “ordinario” la edificación objeto del mismo es una vivienda, ya sea para su uso como vivienda habitual o temporal, y en la ocupación de un alojamiento turístico son dos los elementos esenciales que necesariamente han de concurrir: (i) la propia unidad de alojamiento ya sea arquitectónicamente una habitación, apartamento o vivienda singular y (ii) el servicio inherente a los alojamientos turísticos, como recepción, limpieza, etc., y además todo ello en un “complejo de alojamientos turísticos”  y bajo la gestión de una empresa explotadora única; ambos (el complejo y la empresa) inscritos en el registro de turismo correspondiente como garantía de que uno y otro cumplen con los requisitos de la normativa sectorial-turística.


Una marca prestigiosa y ampliamente conocida es actualmente uno de los más importantes factores de éxito en la comercialización y obviamente ello es aplicable a la industria del alojamiento vacacional.-  Las grandes compañías con sus respectivas marcas han hecho de ello uno de sus principales argumentos de venta, pero las pequeñas compañías, con menor capacidad económica, difícilmente pueden competir por si solas en este sector que tal vez sea el más representativo de una industria globalizada. La respuesta es el  fenómeno del “branding”, es decir la generación de una  marca común de amplia difusión que agrupe a varias compañías del sector, ya sea por iniciativa de esas mismas compañías o por la creación de y la marca por una sola compañía cuyo comercio consiste precisamente en admitir a otros utilizar la marca común, bajo unas precisas reglas y con la retribución a su propietaria.





New terms have been added to the glossary:


In the periods during which the units operated under a timeshare or “rotational enjoyment” system are “unoccupied”, the units are often rented out by their owner to third parties (tourists) and the holders of rights of occupation can thus obtain an extra income.

The legal nature of this kind of “rentals” in Spain may be subject to debate both on a practical and on a theoretical level, but the issue is not without importance as, if we are talking about a “seasonal rental of a dwelling house”, we may find that the lessor has the obligation to demand that the renter pay a deposit amounting to two months’ rent (despite the rental period being one week), which does not happen in the case of occupation of a tourist unit.

The Urban Lease Act 1994 (amended on 04/06/13) does not regard as a lease “the temporary assignment of use of a dwelling house in its entirety, furnished and equipped for immediate use, marketed or promoted through tourism channels and rented out with a view to making a profit, where the house is subject to a specific system arising out of the regulations of its own sector”.

 The difference is that in a, let us call it, “ordinary rental”, the building the subject of the lease is a dwelling house, be it intended for use as permanent or as temporary living accommodation, whereas two essential elements must be present  in the occupation of a tourist accommodation unit: (i) the accommodation unit itself, whether from an architectonic point of view it is a room, an apartment or a singular dwelling house; and (ii) the service inherent in tourist accommodation units, such as reception, cleaning, etc., all of which must also be situated in a “tourist accommodation resort” and managed by one only operating company; both of them (the resort and the company) being registered with the relevant tourism registry as guarantee that they both meet he requirements of the sector’s tourism regulations.


A prestigious, well known brand is currently one of the most important factors to marketing success, and this obviously applies to the holiday accommodation industry.- Large companies have, through their respective brands, made this one of their main selling arguments. Small companies, however, with a lower economic capacity, can hardly compete by themselves in this sector, which may be the most representative of a globalised industry.  A reaction to that is the “branding” concept, i.e. the creation of a common brand with widespread media exposure which comprises several companies of the sector, whether on such companies’ own initiative or as a result of the establishment of a brand by one only company whose business is precisely to allow others to use the common brand according to specific rules and for valuable consideration to its owner.


Access the full glossary on:




Esta galería contiene 2 fotos.

INSIDER VIEWPOINT – Vol 3 / issue 5 / May 23, 2013  RDO –  Resort Development Organisation Francisco Lizarza gives the lowdown on RDO Spain’s successful press event . Straight after the press conference organised by RDO Spain in Malaga, RDO … Sigue leyendo


DE izquiera a derecha: Sr. Aranda (Gerente Ahecos), Sr. Zapico (RCI), Sra. Suero (Interval Internacional) Sr. Bernal (Gerente Patronato de Turismo) y F.J. Lizarza (Lizarza Abogados

DE izquiera a derecha: Sr. Aranda (Gerente Ahecos), Sr. Zapico (RCI), Sra. Suero (Interval Internacional) Sr. Bernal (Gerente Patronato de Turismo) y F.J. Lizarza (Lizarza Abogados)

El pasado día 16 de mayo se celebró en la sede del Patronato de Turismo de la Costa del Sol una reunión a las que asistieron el Gerente de dicho Patronato Sr. Bernal, el Gerente de la Asociación de Empresarios de Hoteles y Apartamentos Turísticos de la Costa del Sol Sr. Aranda, y por parte de RDO España sus Vicepresidentes Sr. Lizarza y Sr. Zapico y la Gerente Sra. Rodriguez con motivo de la incorporación como miembro del Patronato de la organización empresarial europea RDO a través de su Capítulo español. Tras la reunión se celebró una rueda de prensa conjunta a la que asistieron los principales medios de comunicación de la Costa del Sol y Málaga (TV, radio, prensa escrita y agencias de noticia de ámbito nacional). Dicha amplia cobertura y difusión por lo que se adjuntan recortes d prensa y enlaces a los medio digitales que ha recogido estas noticias.




Anaquel de Prensa RDO España 130520





LA OPINION 17.05.13                       SUR 17.05.13




 A quick guide to know more about the “new holiday products” through the words, abbreviations, acronyms, terms and expressions commonly used in the vacation industry. For further information, see the Glossary of new holiday products, mixed used and enjoyment in tourist resorts:


fractional, club-trustee, OPC, closer, ARDA, intercambio, packs, RDO, lock off, RCI, points system, cooling off period, DAT, Interval, destination club, T0-T1-T2, fly-Buy, liner, off site, on site, TATOC, branded residences, lock off, bienal system, Botton line price, multipropiedad, FNTC …


Guia rápida para conocer mejor los “nuevos productos vacaciones”  a través de las palabras, vocablos, acrónimos, términos y acepciones comúnmente utilizadas en la industria vacacional. Véase al respecto el Glosario de los nuevos productos vacacionales, aprovechamientos y usos mixtos en los resorts turísticos en


fractional, club-trustee, OPC, cerrador, ARDA, intercambio, packs, RDO, lock off, RCI, puntos, cooling off period, DAT, Interval, club destino, T0-T1-T2, fly-Buy, liner, off site, on site, TATOC, branded residences, lock off, sistemas bienales, Botton line price, multipropiedad, FNTC