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Hotels fight back against private rentals

Hotels in Vienna are fighting back against the trend of private holiday rentals by suggesting that a law should be introduced which would forbid somebody to rent an apartment to holidaymakers in which he is not registered as living.

The Vienna Hotel Association have suggested this stricter regulation as a way to tackle those who buy apartments so they can rent them to tourists on websites such as Airbnb, whilst not paying any taxes to the city nor having the same obligations as hotel owners.

In Vienna, there are currently around 1,000 people offering private holiday rentals, a number that is constantly growing. Hotel owners say their business is suffering as a result and are demanding tougher guidelines for private renters.

One of the largest community marketplaces on the internet is Airbnb, where somebody can find accommodation in more than 34,000 cities, including more than 600 castles. The prices range from a few euros per night up to 800 Euros, but they never include food or maintenance.

According to Airbnb, the offers of accommodation increased by 75 percent last year and the number of users of the service increased by 250 percent. And with the travel season soon to begin in Vienna, the trend of the young travellers, who prefer to hire a room in a private apartment than in a hotel, is likely to increase this year.

The Vienna Hotel Association say that owners of the hotels do not have any problems with the people who exchange their homes during their holidays or generally the people who have one apartment and rent a room there. Their proposal for the law, which is similar to one used in Berlin, would tackle those who specifically buy property to rent, or own multiple properties just for the purpose of renting them as holiday rentals.

The Vienna Chamber of Commerce on the other hand sees no need to do anything about the private holiday rental market yet, as they believe that the trend will die out soon.

Contrary to the belief of The Vienna Chamber of Commerce though, the Airbnb business is currently exploding and the company is one of the most highly valued start-up companies at the moment. Airbnb capital is reported to be at 359 million Euros and there is already an interested buyer looking to purchase the company.

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