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UNWTO’s report on touristic models of new technology

Verantwortlicher Autor: Carlo Marino Rome, 14.10.2019, 09:04 Uhr
Nachricht/Bericht: +++ Reise & Tourismus +++ Bericht 6559x gelesen

Rome [ENA] New technology, digitalization, the 2008 global economic crisis and changing travellers’ behaviour and preferences have had an overwhelming effect on the global tourism sector over recent years. In particular, they have led to the rise of the “sharing economy”, with new digital platforms and business models materializing in almost every part of the tourism sector.The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has published

the first report of how both national governments and local authorities are focusing on new business models in the accommodation industry: The “New Business Models in the Accommodation Industry”. It analyses existing rules and regulations for the sector, illustrating case studies from around the world. The “sharing economy” has experienced significant growth over recent years and is ready to outperform the growth of traditional accommodation. These changes have been particularly evident in the accommodation industry. With the emergence of new online platforms for short-term rentals, the market has been growing at an exceptional rate.

Projections seem to corroborate it will continue to outperform the growth of traditional accommodation providers in the next years. The growth of new business models in the accommodation industry, led by the expansion of platforms such as Airbnb or HomeAway and more recently the inclusion of short-term rentals on platforms such as, has raised a number of questions correlated to fair consumer protection, competition, safety and security and the effect that such holiday rentals can have on destinations. Drawing on 21 global case studies, the new UNWTO report remarks that most of the measures implemented refer to areas of ‘fair

competition’ and ‘consumer protection’, particularly measures related to taxation and registration and permits. Set side by side, measures concerning ‘planning and sustainability’, are less common. At the same time, the report emphasizes the challenges destinations face in implementing rules and regulations, with a lack of local capacity and a lack of clarity over whose responsibility it is to monitor and regulate short-term tourist accommodation. Commenting, UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili said: “There are significantly more regulations than we thought and it is encouraging to see destinations taking the initiative. However, many challenges remain, including the practical implementation of rules and regulations relating to

the short-term tourist rental market. Good governance and effective cooperation between the public and private sectors are key to successfully meeting these challenges.” Case studies analysed for the “New Business Models in the Accommodation Industry” include European countries such as the Netherlands, Italy and Spain, which are home to some of the world’s most popular cities for tourists, as well as countries in the Americas such as Mexico and from across Asia as is the case of Japan. The report was produced with the support of the Secretariat of Tourism of Mexico.

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