HOTELIERS in Spain and internationally are seeing their profits drop as customers increasingly turn to websites such as Airbnb for accommodation.
A recent study by Esade suggests that as many as 49% of Spain’s holiday rentals are unlicensed and untaxed.
Calls for increased regulation of these properties have been bolstered by the announcement of a new tax law in the UK that will give the British government access to information on Internet vendors.
These vendors include homeowners who rent their properties to tourists and also those who sell products on websites like eBay.
Under the new law, the UK revenue and customs office (HMRC) will have access to Internet vendors’ names and addresses and the value of transactions, which will allow authorities to spot — and prosecute — tax evasions.
The value of untaxed online transactions is estimated at more than €8 billion in Britain alone.
Last year, Barcelona fined Airbnb €30,000 for breach of tourism laws. In the aftermath of the fine, several high-profile Spanish hoteliers demanded an end to “unregulated and unlawful” holiday accommodations.