Short-term rentals are a rapidly expanding and significant component of the travel and tourism industry. The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has released new groundbreaking research that includes suggestions and best practices for governments to regulate short-term rentals.
The WTTC report, “Best practises for short-term rentals,” which was created with the assistance of Airbnb, draws from the experiences of cities all over the world to provide simple-to-implement best practices for this type of lodging, which has grown in popularity among travelers.
The ability of the travel and tourist industry to accommodate visitors has grown, in part because short-term rentals are becoming more popular, claims the international tourism organisation.
According to the study, short-term rentals have expanded the number of lodging options, assisted in spreading tourists over a region, promoted local community involvement in tourism, and provided guests with an alternative and occasionally exclusive lodging choice.
The research provides case studies from cities such as Cape Town, Sydney, and Seattle, among others, to satisfy the rising need for these lodgings. In addition, it contains straightforward policy suggestions that would benefit all parties involved in travel and tourism and might guide legislation, such as data sharing, registration, sensible taxes, and long-term community investment strategies.
Julia Simpson, WTTC President & CEO, said: “As we begin to recover from the ravages of the pandemic, we must focus on building back better in each of our industries.
“The best practices offered in this report will provide governments with key policy recommendations that will both promote tourism in their destinations while supporting those local communities.
“We know travellers are ready to explore the world once again and their return will also help power the world’s much-needed economic recovery.”
Because of their flexibility, the facilities they provide—like kitchens, offices, and gardens—and the chance to stay in areas away from popular tourist destinations, short-term rentals are frequently preferred by visitors.
A poll of visitors who stayed in Airbnb listings in 2021 found that 20 per cent said they would have adjusted their length of stay if their selected home had not been available. This would have allowed them to book their preferred property.
Theo Yedinsky, Airbnb Global Policy Director, said: “Short-term rentals allow everyday people to take part in the tourism economy, and the income earned through hosting is helping many people navigate the impacts of inflation.
“In fact, approximately 35 per cent of Airbnb hosts globally say they host to help cover the rising cost of living. Additionally, short-term rentals help spread visitor spending through communities.
“As travel returns, governments and tourism officials can partner with short-term rental platforms like Airbnb to develop fair, reasonable rules that strengthen destinations, and preserve these economic benefits for communities and local residents.”
Carlos Mercado, Executive Director of Puerto Rico Tourism Company, who commissioned the report, said, “Throughout the pandemic, short-term rentals provided a much-needed boost not only to our Travel & Tourism sector but to our economy.
“The revenue short-term rentals generate is used to fund our marketing efforts which is critical to driving international visitors back to Puerto Rico.”
To guarantee that short-term rentals continue to support and benefit the destination’s community, governments may choose to implement data sharing, registration, innovative taxes, and long-term community investment plans.
The study examined many well-known locations that have benefited from adopting fair regulations to deal with short-term rentals.
Additionally, working with platforms for short-term rentals on digital registration and data-sharing agreements helps short-term rental operators comply while giving governments information they may use to oversee the sector.
To maintain uniformity among all stakeholders, Sydney, Australia, has made efforts, for example, to regulate short-term rentals, including implementing a digital registration system.
Governments can monitor and supervise short-term rental activity thanks to data sharing, supporting data-driven policy choices. To help with this, Airbnb created its City Portal, which serves as a one-stop shop for any pertinent data that authorities could need.
During a problem of affordable housing in 2017, Cape Town, South Africa, benefited from this information to judge tourist and housing policies.
The economic activity and taxes that short-term rentals provide for their destinations can also benefit governments. For example, the expansion of tax income in Puerto Rico has made it easier to finance the operations of the Puerto Rico Tourism Company.
Finally, residents may profit from the additional cash generated by hosting.
To guarantee that the legal structure for short-term rentals was straightforward and reasonable for infrequent hosts, French authorities worked with Airbnb.
You can read the full report here.
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