Airbnb will not bring in mil­lions

E DII TO RII A L

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

lu­di­crous re­quire­ments of the past (eg. area of room, num­ber of sock­ets or fridge size de­ter­min­ing the star-class of ho­tels or apart­ments), but by putting the whole in­dus­try in or­der.

The new trend for self-op­er­ated ac­com­mo­da­tion (va­ca­tion and rental sites such as Airbnb) is spread­ing around the world, but it is most suc­cess­ful where there is reg­u­la­tion, own­ers de­clare their in­come and pay their taxes, and where ac­com­mo­da­tion de­mand is very high.

En­joy­ing al­most three sea­sons of record tourism, Greece has now de­cided to chase the un­reg­u­lated hol­i­day rental prop­er­ties, as it has dis­cov­ered that is los­ing about 300 mln eu­ros in rev­enues ev­ery year.

Con­sid­er­ing the pro­por­tion of beds and ar­rivals in Cyprus, then it would be fair to say that the govern­ment is lov­ing in the re­gion of 40-50 mln eu­ros a year, an amount that could be bet­ter spent on mar­ket­ing Cyprus prop­erly, and not on the walls of a train sta­tion in a low-in­come area of Lon­don, or in pis­soirs in Paris.

Hol­i­day­mak­ers who choose to rent vil­las and apart­ments from the likes of Airbnb, have no guar­an­tees of safety, are un­aware of the ab­sence of in­sur­ance cover and have no way to se­cure their money back if they are dis­sat­is­fied.

On the other hand, reg­u­lated ac­com­mo­da­tion providers and their sup­port­ing tour op­er­a­tors have to dish out hundreds of thou­sands, if not mil­lions, in bonds.

It was nice while it lasted, but the govern­ment has been duped by the greedy de­vel­op­ers who sold vil­las and apart­ments know­ing that these would go on the hol­i­day rental market.

This noth­ing more than tax eva­sion and the CTO and the Min­istry of Fi­nance know all too well. Bur when will they do any­thing about it?

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