Representatives of hotel associations of 36 countries have met this Friday to promote more demanding rules in the field of commercialization of tourist apartments.
This is the fifth meeting of the ‘Global Reformbnb Forum’, a movement promoted in 2018 by hotel organizations from New York, Barcelona, Paris and Buenos Aires with the aim of developing joint projects and exchanging strategic ideas.
During the meeting, which was held virtually due to the pandemic, the trend “already confirmed in Barcelona” of the proliferation of the new modality of shared homes to “cover up” tourist flats in the world, as explained by the head of foreign affairs of the Barcelona Hotels Guild, Didac García.
Hoteliers have reported that over the past 10 years online marketing and illegal tourist rentals have grown thanks to a “poorly regulated” environment and the rise of online marketing platforms such as Airbnb, has had a “very high” social cost for citizens, impairing access to housing and promoting the expulsion of neighbors of the most touristic neighborhoods.
The director of the Barcelona Hotel Guild, Manel Casals, has celebrated the incorporation of new destinations such as Iceland, India or the Philippines, which have joined the meeting.
One million “illegal” places
The Spanish Confederation of Hotels and Tourist Accommodation (Cehat) has denounced that the “unlimited” development of tourist apartments has caused a decrease in supply and, therefore, “the consequent increase in their price.” Cehat also highlights that in the urban centers and most popular tourist destinations, the proliferation of tourist apartments has led to a drop of more than 25% in the supply of rental housing.
Most of the world’s cities, as the hoteliers point out, are looking for systems to “provoke a price suppression”, the increase in the public or private supply of housing and the access of young people to the market. In line with this, the Confederation also points out that, in many European and American cities, measures have been taken to limit these tourist accommodation units due to the direct effect on the rest of the rental homes. In addition, there are the “inconveniences caused by the users of these accommodations” due to the “alteration of public order and the noise problem” in the parties or large bottles that are held there.
After analyzing the main portals of short-stay offer in tourist rentals, the hotel association indicates that there are currently more than 300,000 registered “illegal” apartments that add up to more than one million beds. Cehat also points out that some approximations would add another million more without registering and with an illegal exploitation. Likewise, the Confederation insists that there is data that indicates that more than 50% of these homes are in the hands of 5% of large professional owners and that, according to data from the associations that represent tourist homes, the profitability of a Housing is around 15% per year, despite the “extremely high prices that accommodation has reached in the market.”