Prague asks for restrictions on Airbnb to combat overtourism

Czech Republic: In order to combat the continued increase in tourism, the city of Prague has announced its intention to limit Airbnb.

The introduction of Airbnb has radically changed the social makeup of the city, transforming sleepy residential neighborhoods into tourist hubs.

The number of offers on the site has increased from 5,537 to more than 13,000 in two years, most of which are for full apartments. Because of this, residents have reported a massive increase in noise and rental prices.

The limitations are a project of the city’s new liberal mayor, Zdeněk Hřib, who seeks to undermine Prague’s reputation as a tourist haven. He told the Guardian: “In the past, you could limit the number of tourists in the city simply by approving a certain number of hotels of a certain capacity during the building permit process.”

“Now in Prague there is no possibility for the city to limit the accommodation capacity for tourists.”

His plans include a petition to the country’s central legislative body, calling for greater independent local regulatory authority. Although these have been dismissed in the past, Hřib hopes that awareness of the problem will increase the appetite for regulation.

The city saw nearly eight million tourists flock to the city in 2018, a number that has tripled since 2000. Property values ​​have soared, with housing prices reaching 14 times the average Czech wage.

Local media personalities also launched their complaints. They complained both of the alienation that tourism has created, as well as that tourism has diverted the city’s resources from the needs of the locals.

Prague is not alone in its fight against short-term rentals. Paris and amsterdam have recently added limits intended to combat tourism in their cities, while Scottish Parliament carried out a complete overhaul of local powers linked to industry.

Prague has joined a coalition of 10 cities in sending a letter to the European Commission, asking for an update of its laws.

Read the original story here.

Comments are closed.