European regulators have agreed on a common approach to data collection and sharing from short-term accommodation platforms such as Booking.com, Airbnb, Tripadvisor and Vrbo.
Ministers for competitiveness agreed on the approach as part of a wider strategy for a “balanced tourism ecosystem.”
The regulation will benefit all stakeholders in the short-term accommodation rental segment, says Ebba Busch, Swedish minister for energy, business and industry and deputy prime minister.
“Hosts will have an easy registration procedure, platforms will have a single set of rules for the information they have to provide, travelers will be better protected against fraud and authorities will be able to regulate based on accurate and reliable data,” Busch says.
The new rules requires European Union members set up a single digital entry point to transmit data between the short-term rental platforms and authorities.
Home, apartment and room rentals will have a registration enabling authorities to identify hosts, while online platforms will be expected to carry out random checks that declarations from hosts are correct.
The hope is that the regulations will reduce bureaucracy for hosts and online platforms while also providing authorities with the data required to regulate the sector.
According to the EU, rentals now account for 25% of total tourist accommodation.
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European regulators have been making steady progress on regulating the short-term rentals industry in recent years.
Almost three years ago, the European Commission agreed on a data sharing pact with the largest rental platforms.
In July 2022, a number of European cities asked regulators to propose legislation around registration and data sharing.
In November, the commission published its proposed regulation of the sector with ministers now approving the common approach to data sharing and collection.