SHORT TIME RENTAL – accommodation with hosts in Spain and Berlin

first_imgEHHA Round TableThe thematic gathering of EHHA (European holiday home association) at the ITB in Berlin, and this year brought to the fore the problems related to the regulation of activities. EHHA was established in 2013 with the aim of bringing together property owners, property managers and OTA platforms, the main stakeholders of STR business. EHHA membership consists of 10 significant OTA platforms, the most famous of which is Airbnb, 16 STR associations from Germany, USA, France, Italy, Switzerland, Ireland, Spain, Denmark, Scotland, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Portugal and Croatia. Associate members are Maxxton – IT company for business management and Supercontrol – Booking & Management system. EHHA operates through three centers, in Copenhagen, London and Brussels. As things stand, an office in the USA could open soon. Namely, in the USA, where OTA platforms have gained the greatest momentum and where the “sharing economy” has been created, such attempts are now being made to limit or disable such jobs.In the countries of the European Union, there are 20 million beds in households, which is almost twice as many as in hotels. The value of real estate in which accommodation services are provided is estimated at 600 billion euros. Annually, STR (Short time rental) generates 45 million arrivals and generates 80 billion euros in revenue. Of the total cost of travel, only 25% falls on accommodation, and as much as 75% of income is shared by airlines, highway concessionaires, fuel filling stations, mobile phone operators, shops, catering, museums, excursion service providers and many others.The struggle between big and smallLike a copy-paste scenario, members of political elites are increasingly exposing themselves as representatives of big business, powerful companies that still seem to create politics and politicians. Thus, the city administrations of large cities are in favor of restricting the operation of OTA platforms and adopting restrictions for STR. Attempts are being made to limit the number of days of renting accommodation (90, 60…), to ban renting in certain neighborhoods and the like. All of this is happening in circumstances where tourism giants like Airbnb and booking.com are recording high growth rates of mediation between host and guest. Booking.com alone realizes 1,5 million overnight stays per day in apartments and houses worldwide. Younger generations of travelers are looking for STR accommodation and this is something that no law can prevent. Hotel chain owners will have to gradually change their business models because politics cannot protect them from the future.Spanish troublesSpain, one of the strongest tourist countries in the world and synonymous with tourism, is increasingly getting into trouble. Now the long-lasting crisis in the “most touristy” province of Catalonia has no end, in fact, with the arrest of political leaders, it sinks even deeper into uncertainty. One of the drivers of the crisis was the fact that Catalonia generates large incomes from tourism and other activities, but that the province itself benefits little from it. Greater decentralization was required, first of all money, and then the authority to manage the space. This paved the way for independence. The scenario has already been seen and experienced in Croatia. But what the Catalans don’t know, and we do know, is that similar problems continue to arise. Even when independence is fought, because the guys from “Krupni kapital doo” are still creating politics and politicians… speaking of Catalonia, it is worth mentioning Barcelona, ​​officially the 7th city in the world in terms of “overtourism”. Barcelona has 300 hotels and the whole of Croatia 600. As far as apartments are concerned, 1,4% of the total housing stock is on offer. But at the round table, it was emphasized that there are still neighborhoods in Barcelona where there are no tourists at all, either through accommodation or the offer of content. Problems occur at “neuralgic points”, well-known places where everything is concentrated – both accommodation and restaurants and shops… Obviously, there is a problem with (non) management of city development.Of the 17 provinces in Spain so far, only Galicia has managed to legally regulate STR, or household accommodation. This was done only last year. Until then, it was not possible to do business with household accommodation at all. The law is the result of cooperation between the legislature and tourism organizations. Now they finally have legal accommodation and statistics, indicators of tourist traffic. Admittedly, only in the size of 5.500 legal facilities, but they are trying to bring people closer to the possibility of legal business through road show animation and raise that number.Chaos of legislationAs far as regulations at the state level are concerned, they do not exist, the competence is reduced to the level of provinces, the provinces give powers to their cities, and these in turn interpret the legal framework in their own way. There is currently chaos in Spain with legislation. In general, any business planning is almost impossible, because the rules are not known and new regulatory regulations are constantly being added. Due to all this, Novasol has been present in Spain for only a few years, with only 3.000 facilities on offer. The same agency in Croatia has 12 facilities.In the entire territory of the Kingdom of Spain, in a way, 125 buildings are legally offered and over a million buildings are rented out. Only 000% of the capacity operates legally.The Berlin caseBerlin is often mentioned as the city with the most restrictive approach to the STR. Until recently, there were “spies” in function, who controlled the entrances to residential buildings. That “secret police” spied on their fellow citizens in collusion for dissatisfied citizens and stalked tourists who would stay in apartments. It was the result of a ban on legally renting apartments. At the time of this ban, which was justified by the lack of housing for residents, only 1% of the total housing stock returned to the real estate market. Only then was it established that citizens own only 14% of the housing stock in Berlin. Everything else is owned by companies. There were large investments in housing, but the apartments were empty for a long time. Whether this was due to an artificial rise in prices, money laundering or something else, is not yet known. However, the city authorities decided that the apartment should not be empty for more than 6 months, and subsequently that period was reduced to 3 months. What feels like a problem now is that there is almost no “native” to receive guests. The spirit of Berlin was lost. Some political currents want to restore such a model. The FPD party is in the lead.Our beautiful CroatiaWhen we compare all this with the situation in Croatia, we should be satisfied. We have good legal solutions, we have statistics and registered turnover, and paid sojourn tax and paid income tax… The restrictions set by our Law on Catering for providers of catering services in the household, are in a good range. If it would be good to “copy” something from others, it is this provision from Berlin that the apartment cannot be empty for more than 6 (3) months. If something like this were applied, especially to our coast, large investments in housing would be curbed. We also have a case where the apartment ownership ratio will increasingly benefit investors. The domicile population is under pressure from all sides with the construction of residential buildings built by successful entrepreneurs from all over Croatia and the surrounding countries. That is real “apartmentization”. These apartments are in operation for a maximum of 60 days a year and “eat” space. Nobody lives in the apartment buildings, guests are waiting for the “key under the rug”. Of course, the guys from “Krupni i krupnije kapital doo” have their fingers in it, who are “breaking the ice”. Then everyone else follows them. However, the labels “apartmentization”, “overtourism”, “tourism phobia”, are attached only to the domicile population. They want to stop growth.So we went from good things to less good ones. Which no one cares about. And they should. Because if it happens that the local community is left with no benefit from tourism, only “strats and shackles”, then real “tourism phobia” could appear. Between the Spanish chaos in the segment of family accommodation and the Turkish effort to make accommodation with the hosts, we in Croatia have a huge advantage.Are we aware of what we have ?Author: Nedo Pinezić www.nedopinezic.comlast_img

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