Hoteliers launch world-wide onslaught against illegal holiday rentals
Hoteliers from around the world, including New York, Paris, London and Tel Aviv, have joined forces to launch a global onslaught against the lettings giant Airbnb and illegal holiday rentals in general.
They say something has to be done once and for all to stop people renting out their homes “under the radar” and are calling for the European Union to intervene with new legis-lation.
The 33 hotel associations from different countries want every flat or villa rented to holidaymakers to be properly licensed, with its own regis-tration number and adherence to a new set of standards relating to cleanliness, the facilities provided, safety regulations and so on. It would also mean owners would have to declare their earnings and pay tax.
And they say Airbnb must stop advertising illegal holiday accommodation which, they claim, is simply because the letting company doesn’t bother to check. It’s estimated that Airbnb advertises tourist accommodation in 65,000 cities and invoices 2,600 million dollars a year. It is not known how many of these don’t have licences but the company is already facing huge fines for having illegal lettings on its site, including 300,000 euros imposed by the Balearic Islands, but is fighting the case through the courts.
The practice of tourist rentals is being described as a “global phenomenon”, with hundreds of thousands of tourists opting to rent a holiday home rather than stay in an hotel.
The hotel associations agreed to join forces during a meeting in Barcelona, orga-nised by the city’s Hotels Association, under the banner of “ReformBnB”.
The hoteliers say the problem is currently being dealt with by each individual authority but this is not working and favour a combined appro-ach instead.
They want a “unified docu-ment of guidelines or reco-mmendations”. Catalonia has already introduced a registra-tion number for each apart-ment but no room rates have been set.
The hoteliers say New York and Amsterdam are dealing with the problem well and the rest of the world should follow their example.
The overall solution, they believe, would be new stand-ards from the EU.
Hoteliers from Milan, Japan, Buenos Aires, Croatia and Australia were also re-presented.