Airbnb welcomes European Commission progress towards a truly collaborative economy

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Airbnb today welcomed the European Commission’s paper on Collaborative Short-term Accommodation Services as a balanced set of principles and recommendations to support the sustainable growth of home sharing and short-term rentals in Europe – for governments, industry, and the European citizens who benefit from it.

This document re-affirms to governments that European law already applies to collaborative platforms like Airbnb, and highlights that rules introduced by Member States should be proportionate and justified by clear evidence.

To support the growth of clear, fair and proportionate rules, the Commission highlights some possible features of successful regulatory frameworks from across the region, including:

  • Simple online registration
  • Data sharing agreements
  • Tourist tax ‘collect and remit’ agreements
  • Income tax reporting
  • Rules that distinguish between ‘peer’ and ‘professional’ activity

Airbnb is a responsible partner for governments and has already worked with more than 500 governments around the world on measures to help hosts share their homes, follow the rules and pay their fair share of tax. We not only support the goals set out by the Commission today, we have already made great progress in institutionalising them through our collaborations across Europe.

For example in Greece, Portugal and Andalucia, Airbnb has worked with authorities on clear simple and online registration systems that work for both regular people sharing their homes and professional operators running businesses.

In cities like London, Barcelona and Amsterdam, Airbnb has established protocols to share information that helps authorities to make informed policy decisions, support local hosts and clampdown on bad actors – whilst still respecting privacy laws.

To make it easy for hosts to pay their fair share of tax, Airbnb has entered into ‘collect and remit’ agreements with more than 400 governments, generating more than $700 million in tax revenues across the world. We are collecting these taxes in a growing number of European regions and cities, including Lisbon, Porto, Frankfurt, Milan, Rimini, Palermo, Dortmund, Florence, Genoa and 23,000 municipalities across France.

Where governments require host earnings to be reported for tax purposes, Airbnb has worked with governments to incentivise hosts to comply with obligations, through measures like increased tax-free earnings in Denmark

And across the EU, Airbnb has given hosts tools to identify themselves as ‘peers’ or ‘ ‘professionals’, so guests have clear information about their host.

The European Union has long highlighted the way that home sharing creates economic opportunities and contributes to sustainable, healthy tourism that puts people at the heart of 21st century travel

We welcome regulation and share the Commission’s priorities for successful rules. Airbnb has already worked with more than 500 governments around the world, and we will continue to champion regulation that is necessary, clear and fair, which secure the long-term future of home sharing and people-powered tourism.

Patrick Robinson, Director of Public Policy

Today Airbnb has also backed a cross-sector Roadmap led by two European trade associations, ETTSA and EHHA, as a further demonstration of its commitment to working with the Commission and other policymakers. 

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