Short-term rentals (STRs) in the European Union will soon have more rules aimed at increasing transparency in the field and to help public authorities to ensure a fair and balanced development within the tourism sector.
1. Increased opportunities
The European Commission tabled its proposal to regulate STRs yesterday, hoping to tackle the current fragmentation in how online platforms share data and, ultimately, help prevent illegal listings.
HOTREC, the voice of the European hospitality, welcomed the Commission’s initiative describing the move as an “opportunity to level the playing field amongst all accommodation providers”. The new rules are set to benefit microenterprises — a majority within STRs — and it will establish a framework to protect and benefit consumers, residents, local communities and the entire EU tourism ecosystem.
‘’Hospitality industry has long been calling for an EU Regulation that would address challenges brought forward by the STR accommodation phenomenon,” stated Marie Audren, Director General of HOTREC.
Building upon the recently adopted Digital Services Act, the European Commission proposal represents a step in the right direction to ensure a fair, transparent, competitive and sustainable accommodation environment.Marie Audren, Director General of HOTREC
Short-term rentals have become critical for the EU tourism ecosystem, including guests and hosts, and for many communities, creating both opportunities and challenges. According to the Commission, STRs represent one quarter of tourist accommodation offers in the EU and in the first half of 2022 almost 200 million nights were spent in STRs.
2. New requirements
Among the new requirements for data sharing for STRs, the Commission seeks to harmonise registration requirements for hosts and their STR properties when introduced by national authorities. These registration schemes, however, must be fully online and user-friendly. Moreover, rules will be clarified to ensure registration numbers are displayed and checked — online platforms will have to facilitate hosts to display registration numbers on their platforms.
STRs contribute to a diverse tourism ecosystem but this should not come at the expenses of local communities. We welcome the new rules as they will help Member States better calibrate local rules and regulations to address the challenges brought by STRs while avoiding putting excessive burden on hosts and online platforms.Emmanuel Mounier, eu travel tech Secretary General
Short-term accommodation rentals create benefits for hosts and tourists, but they shouldn’t be growing at the expense of local communities.— European Commission 🇪🇺 (@EU_Commission) November 7, 2022
Today, we adopted a proposal for a Regulation to enhance transparency in the field of short-term accommodation rentals.
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Additionally, once a month, online platforms will have to share data about the number of rented nights and of guests with public authorities. This process is designed to happen in an automated way. Finally, the data generated under this proposal will, in aggregate form, contribute to tourism statistics produced by Eurostat and feed into the upcoming European data space for tourism.
These proposals provide a framework for Airbnb to scale our collaborations with governments and make it easier for everyday Europeans to share their homes and follow the rules.Georgina Browes, Airbnb’s head of EU public policy
The EU executive proposal will now be discussed by the European Parliament and the Council. Once an agreement is reached among the legislators, EU countries will have two years to implement the necessary mechanisms for data exchanges.