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Airbnb Welcomes ‘Watershed’ EU Data Collection Agreement

The European Council and European Parliament have reached a provisional agreement on a draft regulation on data collection and sharing for short-term rental accommodation services across the EU, in a bid to “promote a balanced tourism ecosystem”.

EU countries and lawmakers met last week for the first time since co-legislators presented their mandates in October. In September, the EU’s Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) Committee adopted a report on the proposal for regulations on data collection and sharing, laying down the framework for the implementation of fair and proportionate rules at a local level.

The proposal for a regulation aims to enhance transparency in the short-term rental sector across the EU, as well as help public authorities appropriately regulate the segment. While online short-term rental platforms and the sharing economy have provided benefits for hosts and tourists respectively, local communities have argued that it has contributed to a shortage of affordable housing and a hike in housing prices in their areas.

Under the terms of the provisional agreement, the new rules will require a unique registration number to be displayed on property websites in order to improve the collection and sharing of data from hosts and online platforms. The data generated will be shared between public administrations across the EU, feeding into tourism statistics and allowing administrations to block illegal rental offerings.

Platforms including Airbnb, Booking.com, Expedia and TripAdvisor will be required to transmit activity data to the public authorities across the bloc on a monthly basis. ‘Small and micro’ online short-term rental platforms will be required to do so after every three months. 

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