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Airbnb proposes ‘best practices principles’ for regulations on short-term rentals

Airbnb proposes ‘best practices principles’ for regulations on short-term rentals

BANGKOK: Airbnb has released its proposed regulatory principles for short-term accommodation to support the Thai government’s objectives of making Thailand the premier tourist destination in Asia and one of the top tourist destinations globally.

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By The Phuket News

Tuesday 5 November 2019, 12:48PM


“Driven by a desire for more local, unique and authentic travel experiences, the Airbnb community in Thailand continues to grow from strength to strength. Local hospitality entrepreneurs are choosing Airbnb to earn extra income or grow their business giving guests the choice to stay in boutique hotels, vacation rentals or local homes. By helping attract and host more guests, the Airbnb community is growing and diversifying Thai tourism, said the release announcing the regulatory guidelines.

Following positive meetings with multiple government departments and industry stakeholders, Airbnb has put forward suggested regulatory principles for short-term accommodation in Thailand.

“These principles would support local priorities and reflect Thailand’s unique needs, and are consistent with best practices for regulating short-term accommodation regionally and globally,” the release added.

The regulatory principles also reflect latest research, conducted by Expedition Strategies in late 2018, which found 88% of Thai people would support residents in their neighbourhoods sharing their homes, 89% would consider using short-term accommodation in the future and 84% believe short-term accommodation is good for communities because it will bring tourists to more areas where they will spend money, the release noted.

Airbnb’s proposed regulatory principles include:

• Simple and online national-level registration: A simple, swift and online registration system for short-term accommodation to ensure compliance and promote high safety standards.

• Differentiated regulation: A differentiated – rather than one-size-fits-all – approach to regulation which distinguishes between the various types of short-term accommodation activity. For example, regulations should differentiate between someone sharing a room in their home, their own home occasionally or someone with a vacation rental for full commercial purpose.

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• Industry-wide approach: There should be an industry-wide approach to regulation and close cooperation between all industry participants and regulators in implementing regulations.

• Tough but fair rules for bad behaviour: The overwhelming majority of hosts and guests are good neighbours and respectful travelers, but there should be penalties that target extremely rare instances of bad behaviour.

“Airbnb wants to be a good and responsible partner to Government and do what we can to help Thailand achieve its tourism objectives. Already, our local community is helping grow and diversify the Thai tourism industry and spread the benefits of tourism to local communities across the country, particularly those in emerging destinations like Buriram,” said Mich Goh, Airbnb’s Head of Public Policy for Southeast Asia.

“For some time, we have listened to local authorities and sought to better understand their priorities. We appreciate the balanced and forward-looking approach the Thai government has considered to take in developing a modern regulatory framework for short-term accommodation. We respectfully believe the regulatory principles for short-term accommodation we have put forward support the Government’s objectives and strike the right balance. We look forward to continuing to work constructively with the Thai Government to develop regulation that would work in Thailand.”

Earlier this year, Airbnb released new data which found the local host and guest community generated over B$33.8 billion in estimated direct economic impact in Thailand in 2018, and on average Airbnb guests say 46% of their spending occurs in the neighbourhoods where they stay, said the release.

Airbnb is also supporting the growth of emerging destinations in Thailand. In 2018, the number of Airbnb guest arrivals visiting emerging destinations in Thailand grew by 53% year-on-year. Recently, Airbnb launched a new campaign, “Sustainable Travel with Airbnb: Beyond Big Cities” to promote emerging destinations such as Buriram, it added.

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