Short-term rental: upcoming rules and existing trends

Tourism has been one of the fastest growing industry in world in the last decade, also thanks to digital technologies. [NicoElNino/Shutterstock]

The tourism sector has boomed since the 1990s, not least because of the digital revolution. Meanwhile, the EU is looking into a legal framework to regulate how online platforms should operate in this growing market.

Travel platforms like Airbnb and Booking have democratised the rental offer for millions of consumers and opened up the market for thousands of hosts. At the same time, tourist hubs like Barcelona and Amsterdam have experienced the ‘touristification’ of their urban centres and a drop in the offer of long-term housing.

When municipalities tried to manage the phenomenon, their enforcement of the local rules was crippled by the lack of access to data. In turn, tech companies are limited in the personal data that they can share and challenge disproportionate data collection requests.

In this complex scenario, the EU is called to strike a delicate balance between economic opportunities and sustainability, transparency and data protection, legal certainty and the need to adapt the rules to the local realities.

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