Earlier this year, I shared news from Quebec, where the government said it was working on new rules for home sharing – the first province in Canada to do so.
Today, the government announced it will introduce an updated tourism law that clearly distinguishes between professional tourism businesses and non-professional hosts, who make up the majority of the Airbnb community.
Speaking today, Dominique Vien, Tourism Minister for Quebec, clarified that new measures to crackdown on illegal accommodation in Quebec are not aimed at Airbnb hosts. These platforms are here to stay and need new rules that recognise Airbnb hosts are not businesses or professionals – they are regular people sharing their homes to help make ends meet.
Here’s what she said:
“These new platforms have attracted consumers and are here to stay. In the quest for balance, we want to protect people who make their homes available to travellers and tourists from time to time. We obviously do not want to make them subject to this new law, or the need to obtain a certificate if they don’t meet the profile of a tourist facility.”
We will continue to work with the government to clarify the details of this proposal, but are pleased that the government recognises that Airbnb hosts are typically not businesses or professionals. A study in Montreal last year showed that they are regular people who share their homes on an occasional basis, and nearly half the money they earn goes on living expenses and making ends meet.
By introducing clear and simple rules for home sharing, Quebec will join the growing list of destinations around the world that are implementing progressive rules that increase consumer choice and support regular people for whom this income is an economic lifeline.
We look forward to continuing our work with the government and to partner on further measures to support regular people, allow guests to experience Quebec like a local and to spread economic benefits to more families, communities and local businesses beyond the regular tourist hotspots.