Airbnb, Booking, Expedia Group and TripAdvisor have agreed to share their short-term accommodation booking and guest data with the European Union (EU).
Commissioner Thierry Breton said the data will help with “evidence-based policy” planning and transparency for the short-term leasing sector, critics including local government claim is destroying the social fabric of key tourism destinations.
The EU has been heavily lobbied to provide leadership on short-term traveller rentals and this agreement will go some way to appeasing the call for transparency from major European cities such as Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin, Bordeaux, Brussels, Krakow, Munich, Paris, Valencia and Vienna.
“European cities believe homes should be used first and foremost for living in,” the group of 10 said in a statement released by Amsterdam city council. “Many suffer from a serious housing shortage. Where homes can be rented out more lucratively to tourists, they vanish from the traditional housing market.
“European cities believe that homes should be used first and foremost for living in. Many cities suffer from a serious housing shortage.
“Where homes can be used more lucratively for renting out to tourists, they disappear from the traditional housing market, prices are driven up even further and housing of citizens who live and work in our cities is hampered.
“Cities must protect the public interest and eliminate the adverse effects of short-term holiday rental in various ways. More nuisances, feelings of insecurity and a ‘touristification’ of their neighbourhoods is not what our residents want.
“Therefore (local) governments should have the possibility to introduce their own regulations depending on the local situation.
“For this, we need strong legal obligations for platforms to cooperate with us in registration-schemes and in supplying rental-data per house that is advertised on their platforms.”
Commissioner Breton said: “For the first time we are gaining reliable data that will inform our ongoing discussions with cities across Europe on how to address this new reality in a balanced manner.
“The Commission will continue to support the great opportunities of the collaborative economy, while helping local communities address the challenges posed by these rapid changes.”
He said the agreement, signed between each platform and Eurostat, the EU statistical office, on behalf of the European Commission, envisages:
- Regular and reliable data from the four platforms: Shared data will include the number of nights booked and the number of guests. Data will be aggregated at the level of municipalities. Platforms agreed to share data on a continuous basis.
- Privacy: The privacy of citizens, including guests and hosts, is protected in line with applicable EU legislation. Data will not allow individual citizens or property owners to be identified.
- Publication of data: The data provided by the platforms will undergo statistical validation and be aggregated by Eurostat. Eurostat will publish data for all Member States as well as many individual regions and cities by combining the information obtained from the platforms. It is expected that the first statistics could be released in the second half of 2020.