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Unified regulations in Hungary could hurt Airbnb

Hotels

The Association of Hungarian Hotels is urging changes in the law so that owners of private condos offered for rent should meet the same registration requirements as hotels and hospitality facilities, according to a report by news portal index.hu. Such regulations would significantly hurt how Airbnb does its business here in Hungary.

Ákos Niklai, president of the association, told Hungarian daily Magyar Nemzet that the association would soon be sending its proposals for changes to the government. Suggestions include that apartments not be available for short-term rent, and in case of apartment blocks, the approval of all the owners would be needed for renting out flats. 

Citing a recent survey by consulting services provider BDO, Niklai said social hospitality capacity in Hungary doubled between 2010 and 2015, index.hu reported. Guest traffic through Airbnb has grown six-fold, which hurts Hungarian hotels significantly, he added.

Although index.hu reported that no clear data has yet quantified how much hotels are hurt by the operation of Airbnb, the BDO survey seems to show that middle category hotels are affected most. BDO says social hospitality places saw 2.2 million guest nights as compared to approximately eight million guest nights in hotels. There is no way of knowing how many guests who stayed in Airbnb accommodation would otherwise have used a hotel.

Niklai did admit the Airbnb phenomenon has positive sides as well, index.hu reported, such as the fact that more people arrive in the country, making Hugary more popular, therefore raising the number of tourists here. Despite that, he still believes unified regulations are needed.

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