Airbnb has been working tirelessly for the last few weeks to build relationships with the Government and Parliament to ensure they apply the ‘withholding tax rule’, included in the Spring fiscal plan (read the interview to Country Manager Matteo Stefanelli) in a sensible and proportionate way, that doesn’t leave room for ongoing litigation.
But now hosts sharing their homes find it impossible to understand the amendments that have just been discussed in Parliament. They have been requested to be equipped with fire doors or to classify themselves as hoteliers simply because they provide bed linen to guests. In order to share their property, they are being forced to navigate a maze of bureaucracy.
These are all attempts to introduce unfair charges without supporting a better relationship between citizens and tax matters.
Airbnb hosts have also been accused of negligence and poor hospitality. But they are providing great experiences for their guests; so far this year, 78 percent of trips on Airbnb received a 5-star rating, the best rating available on the platform. Also, more than 70 percent of guests declared that they wouldn’t have picked Italy and/or wouldn’t have stayed as long if it weren’t for Airbnb. In 2015 hotels globally set new records with 73 billion profit, the highest it’s been since 2007.
In many Italian cities Airbnb hosts have founded active and responsible communities.
Gianni, Emanuela, Federico, Antonella, Lorenza, Maurizio and Francesca are just a few Italian hosts who, right now, are making their voices heard loud and clear to Parliament.
“I am a host and I pay my taxes. During these last few years, we’ve made tourism more accessible to families. I’d like them to keep visiting my city and to stay in my apartment.”
Antonella, a host in Milan
“These amendments stop innovation. They look at the past, not into the future. We have thousands of years of history to share with the rest of the world, why prohibit this? Hosts enrich this country by supporting Italian culture and traditions. More visitors, more of them spending in Italy, more Italian culture in the world.”
Emanuela, a host from Rome
“Come on, who could possibly have a fire door in their own apartment?”
Francesca, a host from Bologna
“Let’s free the vital energy of this country. We need a clear-cut framework of rules that do not prevent starting or continuing an economic activity. I am a host and I pay my taxes. I say yes to rules as long as they are not disadvantageous for those who want to undertake this experience.”
Gianni, a host from Florence
“Opening your house to people is a simple gesture and I would like to see the same approach on the rules that apply to it, not the opposite.”
Federico, a host from Bologna
“Sharing your home is your right. Sharing your city is a pleasure. We want people to feel welcome. Why does complying with the rules have to be so complicated?”
Lorenza, a host from Milan
“According to some amendments, if I provide my guests with clean sheets I will be classified as a hotel. There is something utterly wrong with this.”
Mauro, a host from Bologna