New swimming pool rules in Spain that could 'drive UK tourists away elsewhere'

Spain pool and sunbeds
There are still some drought regulations in Spain despite recent rainfall -Credit:Getty Images

If you're heading off to Spain this year and have booked a property to stay in, you may have opted for one with a swimming pool perfect for cooling off on the long, hot days.

However, new rules surrounding pools in certain Spanish areas have tourist rentals owners worried that UK holidaymakers may cancel their trips and head somewhere else.

Several bookings in the Costa del Sol region have already been scrapped, with bosses fearing there is more to come. It comes as a result of Junta de Andalucía's drought regulations, which place limits on filling private swimming pools and watering gardens.

Birmingham Live reports that a protest was held in Malaga last week to call for an easing of these rules, following the latest announcement by authorities to allow the opening of swimming pools in public sports and health centres, hotels and campsites in time for the busy summer period.

However, business owners are keen for the rules to be relaxed even more - and fear that holidays will end up being cancelled if this does not happen. Even though there has been rainfall recently, the Andalucia region is still suffering from a long-term drought.

Because of this, some towns and villages have introduced night time limits on water supply and water pressure, affecting tourist accommodations.

Samantha Austin, representing around 50,000 tourist flats on the coast, told Sur in English that holidaymakers visit Spain 'looking for a swimming pool and to have a good time'. She said: "I have many clients waiting to hear from me as they're deciding whether to come or not.

"If there is no pool, they are going to change their destination this year. We are having cancellations and we are going to have more."

Business owners and unions are calling for a relaxing of the restrictions in the run-up to the authority's next meeting this week, which will set the water use rules for the upcoming holiday season.

Local councils in the Costa del Sol and Malaga city currently ban the use of drinking water to fill pools, which means using raw water from wells or groundwater.

This then has to be filtered in the pool, requiring them to be closed for between 24 and 72 hours.

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