It is no secret that the South African formal hospitality industry is trying its best to kill off Airbnb in the country. It is openly asking government to regulate the profit out of the app based accommodation provider. But says Airbnb, we supports regulation of the short-term rental sector but it should remain important for guests to retain the right to choose between the different accommodation options in the country. This is the main take-away from a statement released by Airbnb following a meeting between SA Minister of Tourism, Derek Hanekom, and representatives from Airbnb, to address the regulatory vacuum on short-term rentals in amendments to the Tourism Amendment Bill.
TourismUpdate.co.za quotes Velma Corcoran, Airbnb Country Manager, Sub-Saharan Africa, who says guests to South Africa should have a wide selection of accommodation and experience options.
“Airbnb supports fair and proportional rules that are evidence-based, benefit local people, and distinguish between professional and non-professional activity, taking into account local conditions. For example, rules based on the level of activity as opposed to the platform where the accommodation is listed with a clear distinction between traditional hospitality providers and occasional home sharers. Similarly, any additional requirements for tour guides should not unfairly discriminate against entrepreneurial citizens from different walks of life.”
Corcoran added that Airbnb wished to continue supporting the tourism sector. “Airbnb is committed to facilitating a dialogue between them, the Ministry, and the relevant authorities, as their voices are valuable to the process. Airbnb will continue to engage through all processes to ensure that these distinctions and clarifications are clear.”