Venice and Florence push back Airbnb and short-term rentals
Officials in Venice and Florence, Italy, want to see Airbnb hosts and short-term rental properties follow the same rules as the hospitality industry as they anticipate the inevitable return of tourists.
“The short-term rental phenomenon needs to be better managed with clearer rules at national level,” the two cities said in a joint list of initiatives sent to the Italian government, according to CNN Travel.
Officials say some are “hiding a business behind a rental” to avoid the regulations and high taxes facing the hospitality industry. “The consequence is that too often an unqualified offer weakens the overall offer of the country”, add the cities, considering that the short-term rental is in “unfair competition” with the hotels.
The document goes on to say that these rentals “promote the emptiness of historic centers due to the surge in medium and long-term rents”. The cities say that “this digging, perhaps not so visible until now, and perhaps underestimated, is now clear to everyone”.
Officials are calling on the Italian government to “settle the situation in a serious and forward-looking manner” and have even offered some suggestions such as considering all rentals of less than 30 days as for tourist purposes, limiting two rentals to owners per city. and impose a 90-day annual limit on rentals.
“Travel is changing – in the last quarter of 2020, more guests stayed in Sicily than in Florence and Venice combined – and we look forward to working with cities to help local economies rebound,” a door-to-doorman said. Airbnb’s word in a statement to CNN. “Leaders in Florence and Venice have made it clear that they support ordinary people sharing their homes and we look forward to working together on a way forward that supports families and communities.”
City leaders also want the Italian government to regulate tour guides to ban unregulated guides working for tips, establish tougher penalties for damaging buildings, raise the price of public transport tickets to help the recovery of tourism and continue to develop means of monitor the movements of tourists.