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HOTREC: ‘Registration of Activity’ a Must for Sharing Economy Platforms

Europe’s hotel restaurant/café association HOTREC is calling for collaborative economy activities to comply with basic market and societal requirements allowing for a healthy and fair business market.

In a recent announcement, HOTREC said that the increasing role of professionals makes registration of activity necessary to level the playing field and protect consumers by fostering national law enforcement.

According to the European Holiday Home Association, collaborative economy platforms in tourist accommodation are offering 20 million beds across Europe, compared to 13 million beds in hotels and similar establishments (Eurostat). A recent study of the European Commission (DG Grow) shows that a huge proportion of accommodation providers are marketed by professionals. 2/3 rent out their property for more than 120 days a year.

“Platforms must take responsibility for society not only by facilitating compliance with taxation, but also to ensure consumer protection,” said Christian de Barrin, CEO of HOTREC.

“The one and only step to achieve this is set up a registration of activity to clear up the market and level the playing field,” he added.

The November 2017 PricewaterhouseCoopers study on the impact of taxation on European tourism also underlines the need for a proper participation of the sharing economy in public responsibilities.

“It can be hard for tax authorities to raise awareness of obligations and police non-compliance, while this introduces inequity between the effective tax burden on compliant businesses and those who do not comply with tax obligations. This distorts the market and leads also to a loss of revenues for the government,” the study says.

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