Over the past few days there have been a number of news articles about the regulatory situation for home sharing in Iceland. We want to clarify what is happening and the work that we are doing to be good partners for everyone in Iceland.
Policymakers in Iceland are in the final stages of discussing new rules on home sharing across the country. The proposed rules support home sharing on Airbnb generally but include provisions that could require some occasional home sharers to register as businesses.
We welcome the Government’s recognition of home sharing and the economic benefits it brings to Iceland. We also want everyone in Iceland to benefit from visitors to their communities, and for home sharing rules to be clear, simple and easy for regular people to follow.
Iceland’s tourism industry is booming, with many guests wanting to experience the island’s natural beauty. The country is reportedly expected to welcome 1.6 million visitors this year, yet only 211,000 Airbnb guests visited Iceland in the past year.
Íslandsbanki said in a report published earlier this year on tourism in Iceland that during peak season, hotels were finding it difficult to meet demand. Airbnb provides a suitable sustainable solution to allow guests to experience Iceland in a most authentic way, spreading tourism across the country, bringing benefits to countless families, communities and local businesses, and allowing guests to live like a local.
We know that many Airbnb hosts live in communities that are underserved by hotels. By sharing their homes, hosts bring new benefits to these communities, disperse visitors beyond the tourist hotspots and give guests from around the world a true Icelandic experience.
We want to be good partners to policymakers in Iceland and help build a responsible home sharing community that makes cities become better places to live and visit.
We are continuing to have productive conversations with policymakers about clear and simple home sharing rules and look forward to working together on innovative measures to promote responsible home sharing.