Airbnb presents best practices proposal

BANGKOK, 4 November 2019: Airbnb released its proposed regulatory principles for short-term accommodation, 1 November, which it says could support the Thai Government’s objectives of making Thailand the premier tourist destination in Asia.

Driven by a desire for more local, authentic travel experiences, the Airbnb community in Thailand continues to expand. Local hospitality entrepreneurs are choosing Airbnb to earn extra income or grow their business, giving guests a choice to stay in boutique hotels, vacation rentals or local homes. By helping attract and host more guests, the Airbnb community is growing and diversifying Thai tourism.

Following positive meetings with various government departments and industry stakeholders, Airbnb has proposed regulatory principles for short-term accommodation in Thailand.

These principles would support local priorities and reflect Thailand’s needs and are consistent with best practices for regulating short-term accommodation regionally and globally.

The regulatory principles also reflect latest research, conducted by Expedition Strategies in late 2018, which found 88% of Thai people would support residents in their neighbourhoods sharing their homes, 89% would consider using short-term accommodation in the future and 84% believe short-term accommodation is good for communities because it will bring tourists to more areas where they will spend money.

What Airbnb proposes

Online national registration
A simple, swift and online registration system for short-term accommodation would ensure compliance and promote high safety standards.

Differentiated regulation
A differentiated, rather than one-size-fits-all, approach to regulation would distinguish between the various types of short-term accommodation activity. For example, regulations should differentiate between someone sharing a room in their home, their own home occasionally or someone with a vacation rental for full commercial purpose.

Industry-wide approach
There should be an industry-wide approach to regulation and close cooperation between all industry participants and regulators in implementing regulations.

Tough but fair rules
The overwhelming majority of hosts and guests are good neighbours and respectful travellers, but there should be penalties that target extremely rare instances of bad behaviour.

“Airbnb wants to be a responsible partner to Government and do what we can to help Thailand achieve its tourism objectives. Already, our local community is helping grow and diversify the Thai tourism industry and spread the benefits of tourism to local communities across the country, particularly those in emerging destinations like Buriram,” said Airbnb’s Head of Public Policy for Southeast Asia Mich Goh.

“For some time, we have listened to local authorities and sought to understand their priorities better. We appreciate the balanced and forward-looking approach the Thai Government has considered to take in developing a modern regulatory framework for short-term accommodation. We respectfully believe the regulatory principles for short-term accommodation we have put forward support the Government’s objectives and strike the right balance. We look forward to continuing to work constructively with the Thai Government to develop regulation that would work in Thailand.”

Earlier this year, Airbnb released new data which found the local host and guest community generated over THB33.8 billion in estimated direct economic impact in Thailand in 2018, and on average Airbnb guests say 46% of their spending occurs in the neighbourhoods where they stay. Airbnb is also supporting the growth of emerging destinations in Thailand. In 2018, the number of Airbnb guest arrivals visiting emerging destinations in Thailand grew by 53% year-on-year. Recently, Airbnb launched a new campaign, Sustainable Travel with Airbnb: Beyond Big Cities” to promote emerging destinations such as Buriram.