Short-term accommodation is growing rapidly in the EU, and the platform economy is giving a big boost to this process. It benefits accommodation providers, guests, and the wider tourism ecosystem. However, it also represents challenges, especially for local communities that experience less affordable housing, rising prices or excessive tourist traffic in some places. Therefore, public authorities across the EU need quality data on short-term accommodation expenditure in order to develop sound policies and implement them effectively. However, they do not always have access to reliable data, as accommodation providers do not systematically register properties and online platforms do not always share data for various legal and technical reasons.
For this reason, the European Commission adopted the new rules simplifying data collection and making data sharing mandatory for accommodation providers and online platforms on 7 November 2022. The current divergent and complex national rules will be replaced by a clear and proportionate framework for data collection and sharing across the EU single market.
With the relevant data in place, authorities will have the tools to ensure that only legitimate advertisements can appear on online platforms. This will increase the confidence and safety of the travellers. Authorities will also be able to provide better services to the travellers and local communities, including better waste management, water supply or transport services, based on more accurate information on short-term accommodation rental activities in specific areas.
The authorities should set up an online and simple registration procedure for accommodation providers. The information and documentation to be submitted should be limited to what is necessary and proportionate. Once the registration procedure is completed, accommodation providers will be given a unique registration number which will allow them to start their activities.
Platforms must share relevant information with the authorities monthly. However, micro and small platforms that do not reach an average of 2,500 hosts per month will be subject to less strict regulations. They will be required to share data less frequently (quarterly) and will not be obliged to use automated tools for data reporting, but will be able to report manually.
Finally, the authorities can share the data in an aggregated and anonymized way with researchers, statistical offices and citizens.