Airbnb and two other big short-lets platforms have agreed to share their data on landlords' guest numbers and nights booked with the Office for National Statistics (ONS) to help shape policy decisions on the short lets sector.
Data will be published quarterly starting next Spring while fellow short-term let platforms Booking.com and the Expedia Group have also signed up to share their data.
The Short Term Accommodation Association says this will allow public authorities to better understand the development of short-term lets and expects data gleaned to illustrate the positive impact they contribute to the tourism economy. The announcement comes ahead of a government response to consultations on new rules for short-term lets in England due later this year.
Amanda Cupples, Airbnb’s Northern Europe general manager, (pictured) says: “This data will be a vital resource for authorities at all levels to better understand short-term letting activity in their communities and capture the positive benefits of tourism.”
In Europe, lawmakers have gone a step further and reached a provisional agreement on a draft regulation on data collection and sharing for short-term rental accommodation services in a bid to control illegal activity and regulate the sector.
New rules will require property websites to display a unique registration number and data generated will be shared between EU countries. Platforms including Airbnb, Booking.com, Expedia Group/Vrbo and TripAdvisor will be required to provide monthly data to public authorities while small and micro online short-term rental platforms will do so every three months.
The plan will now need to be endorsed and formally adopted by both the EU Council and European Parliament and could be 24 months before taking effect.
An Airbnb spokesman tells LandlordZONE that it welcomes regulation and has led calls for a UK host register; earlier this year it put forward suggestions to make the UK government’s proposals even stronger, including through occupancy data sharing by booking intermediaries and other operators.