European Union travel technology companies are urging the EU Commission to review its short-term rental (STR) initiative and consider registration schemes and data sharing.
Among the main recommendations that the agency addressed to the EU Commission in this area include:
- Introducing harmonised registration schemes
- Use of registration schemes to support data exchange
- Ensuring clear and proportionate rules
STRs are increasingly popular in the EU, thus offering alternative accommodation solutions for travellers looking for great flexibility in their stay, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
STR comprises over 29 per cent of the tourist accommodation sector in the 27 EU countries and is considered key to the economic recovery and development of the tourism ecosystem.
Data from EU travel tech reveals that before the pandemic began, countries such as Germany, France, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom accounted for 72 per cent of STR’s total gross bookings.
At the same time, during 2019, more than 554 million nights were spent in the EU in accommodation booked through the four largest online travel platforms.
“EU travel tech members have long advocated for a harmonised framework introducing clear and proportionate rules on the provision and marketing of STR services. Online platforms have often been at the centre of the debate regarding the challenges posed by the rapid spread of STRs. In our view, such challenges require a regulatory framework that clarifies and carefully balances the roles and responsibilities of the different actors involved in online platforms, property owners, and the remit of public authorities and that aims at standardising data sharing approaches across the EU, among others,” the EU travel tech pointed in this regard.
As the company explains, EU travel technology welcomes the Commission’s initiative to review the regulation of short-term rental services throughout the EU.
In addition, EU Travel Technology also advocates that implementing registration obligations can go a long way in improving data sharing. It states that most of the data requested by public authorities are related to STR providers, and thus they are forced to receive them directly from the hosts.
Previously, even the business association representing the EU hospitality industry, HOTREC, has called on EU countries to impose obligations on platforms and short-term hosts.
Similarly, on August 9, some of the EU’s most visited cities, seeing as a problem the increase in the number of short-term rentals that are leaving many locals unable to secure a home, have also called for legislative action to tighten them.