Travel Tech


As we have been reporting over the past months, AirBnB was confronted with legal charges in some big tourist destinations, especially in New York and Amsterdam. The website faced to be shut down, as tourism authorities criticised that private hosts do not pay tourism and income tax; despite the growing trend of individuals renting out apartments on a professional level.


The Amsterdam City Council has responded to the ongoing dispute, by creating a new accommodation category, namely “Private Rentals”. This allows local residents to rent their homes on an occasional basis through shared economy websites like AirBnB.


The new legislation, which has been put in place effectively last week, imposes a set of new rules on private hosts. These rules ensure that AirBnB is restricted to private hosts, who rent out rooms or their apartments occasionally, and effectively state:

  • a maximum of four guests can be hosted in one home at a time,
  • residents can rent their homes for a maximum of four consecutive nights,
  • hosts are fully liable to paying tourism and income tax,
  • to qualify for the new “Private Rentals” category, residents monthly rent has to exceed $958 per calendar months.

Especially the latter point should prevent residents to sub-let rooms or apartments that have been rented from building societies or other rental cooperations.


The City Council of Amsterdam has provided a good practice example, how innovative policy making can support the growing trend of the sharing economy, while still protecting the legitimate interest of the tourism industry for fair competition. AirBnB has proven to be increasingly popular among city break tourists around the world, thereby disrupting the accommodation sector in popular destinations.


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