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Airbnb agrees deal to share data with local authorities in Europe

Booking.com, Expedia and Tripadvisor also sign up to landmark agreement with EU

Although short-stay accomodation services have proven popular with users, their success has contributed to over-tourism in some cities.

The European Commission has reached agreement with short-stay accommodation providers such as Airbnb that will help local authorities to better collate information on those using such platforms.

Airbnb,Booking.com, Expedia and Tripadvisor have all agreed to provide data on a quarterly basis to the European Union’s statistical office, Eurostat, in a move that should help cities respond more effectively to the impact these platforms have.

Although short-stay accomodation services have proven popular with users, their success has contributed to over-tourism in some cities, driving up house prices to the extent that locals can no longer afford to live there.

“Tourism is a key economic activity in Europe. Short-term accommodation rentals offer convenient solutions for tourists and new sources of revenue for people. At the same time, there are concerns about impact on local communities,” said Thierry Breton, commissioner for the internal market.

Under the new agreement, short-stay accommodation providers will share key data on a quarterly basis on areas such as the number of nights booked and number of guests in specific locations. The privacy of all hosts and hosts will be protected by anonymising any data shared.

Reliable data

“For the first time we are gaining reliable data that will inform our ongoing discussions with cities across Europe on how to address this new reality in a balanced manner,” Mr Breton said.

A survey conducted by Eurostat, showed that 21 per cent of European Union citizens used a website or an app to arrange accommodation from another person.

Chris Lenane, senior vice president of global policy and communications at Airbnb said the “partnership will help ensure that cities have the information they need to regulate home sharing effectively everyone.”

“Our work is informed by regulations across the region and collaboration with more than 500 governments and organisations across the world. We believe that platforms have a responsibility to work with governments and our commitment to cities is long-term and ongoing,” he said.

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