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extra information wanted to control trade, says MEP –

The European Fee’s latest proposal on short-term leases, which focuses on transparency measures and simplifies registration processes, is seen as a step in the suitable path. Certainly, complete information is crucial to raised regulate the sector, MEP Cláudia Monteiro de Aguiar advised EURACTIV.

Ms. Monteiro de Aguiar is a centre-right Portuguese MEP and member of the Transport and Tourism Committee. Particularly, she was rapporteur for an “EU technique for sustainable tourism” in 2021.

Prefer it or not, short-term rental platforms (brief time period leasesSTR) reminiscent of Airbnb and Reserving are right here to remain, Ms. Monteiro de Aguiar identified, mentioning that peer-to-peer leases have change into a “section” essential to the tourism trade.

The MEP believes that these platforms have introduced financial advantages to each cities and rural areas. “This enables the financial advantages to be distributed between the areas of the nation” whereas creating extra sustainable and accountable tourism, she stated.

Nonetheless, one component is lacking from the image: information. The MEP says entry to information to help policy-making is sorely missing within the tourism sector. That is notably the case with short-term leases, which lead native authorities to take disproportionate measures.

On the similar time, data on the social, financial and environmental impacts of Airbnb-type leases can also be missing.

Lack of knowledge, a serious concern

The dearth of knowledge is rising as a serious problem in managing such a flourishing sector. The Fee estimates that 25% of all vacationer lodging within the EU comes from Reserving and different related websites. A 138% enhance was additionally recorded within the first half of 2022.

There may be nevertheless no clear EU-wide data of the homeowners of the listings, whether or not the identical residences can be found on multiple on-line platform and to what extent municipal providers have entry to this information within the first place.

“Authorized certainty and transparency have been on the coronary heart of the calls for of all stakeholders, whether or not hosts, property managers, massive and small on-line platforms, the hospitality sector or regulators”Monteiro de Aguiar advised EURACTIV.

As all stakeholders acknowledge the worth of evidence-based public insurance policies, the Fee’s proposal on amassing and sharing information on short-term lodging rental providers has been broadly welcomed as a mandatory instrument to the harmonization of practices throughout the block.

The regulation will outline a standard strategy to registration procedures, below which a novel registration quantity can be assigned to hosts and lodging to make sure better transparency and traceability.

The expertise platforms will even be required to routinely transmit, every month, the information referring to their hosts to a single level of entry on the nationwide degree. This new digital gateway will permit platforms to routinely share data, thus facilitating checks to forestall unlawful leases.

Not a panacea

For Ms. Monteiro de Aguiar, this can be a good first step, however not a panacea. In line with her, the complexity and variety of native guidelines usually are not totally taken under consideration. Moreover, she asserts that this regulation will solely have the ability to produce its full results if different information, already adopted, are carried out successfully all through the Union.

The Portuguese MEP believes that that is notably true with regard to the Digital Companies Regulation (Digital Companies ActDSA), for which the proposal for short-term leases works virtually as a complement.

“Member State authorities should comply with the principles accordingly, and once they fail to take action, the Fee initiates infringement proceedings at once”she stated.

Ms Monteiro de Aguiar additionally considers that the present proposal could possibly be improved with a view to keep away from making a burden of knowledge sharing for all actors concerned. Because it stands, the textual content dangers including new layers of technical complexity, she says.

For knowledgeable or genuine mannequin?

The EU proposal additionally goals to make clear one other concern, specifically the so-called “professionalisation” of the short-term rental sector.

In a letter written by the European Cities Alliance to Commissioners Thierry Breton and Margrethe Vestager in July 2022, the mayors of municipalities reminiscent of Amsterdam and Barcelona argued that preliminary peer-to-peer leasing is now marginal as corporations with a big portfolio possess nearly all of advertisements.

“The Fee estimates that 87% of hosts are friends and 13% are skilled hosts,” stated Ms. Monteiro de Aguiar. And he provides that the truth that some homeowners flip this exercise right into a occupation doesn’t shock him – it’s merely the way in which the market works.

Though a small minority, cities level out that these “hyper-hosters” symbolize nearly all of current listings. In different phrases, information on a number of listings at EU degree remains to be wanted to get a greater image of the sector as a complete.

Final 12 months, Ms Monteiro de Aguiar known as for the creation of a standard European information area on tourism, with a view to “to offer the EU and Member States with a factual overview with information, permitting them to design knowledgeable methods”.

The European Parliament’s Committee on Transport and Tourism, answerable for giving an opinion on the proposal, ought to quickly start negotiations. Nonetheless, political variations have already begun to seem throughout the ranks of MEPs.

“Some political teams and MEPs try to downplay the significance of short-term leases to the entire tourism ecosystem, which I feel is a giant mistake”concluded Ms. Monteiro de Aguiar.

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