Airbnb has said that it supports regulation of the short-term rental sector but that it is important that guests retain the choice between the different accommodation options.
This was according to a statement released by the company following a meeting between SA Minister of Tourism, Derek Hanekom, and representatives from Airbnb, to address the regulatory vacuum on short-term rentals in amendments to the Tourism Amendment Bill.
Velma Corcoran, Airbnb Country Manager, Sub-Saharan Africa, said guests to the country should have a wide selection of accommodation and experience options.
“Airbnb supports fair and proportional rules that are evidence-based, benefit local people, and distinguish between professional and non-professional activity, taking into account local conditions. For example, rules based on the level of activity as opposed to the platform where the accommodation is listed with a clear distinction between traditional hospitality providers and occasional home sharers. Similarly, any additional requirements for tour guides should not unfairly discriminate against entrepreneurial citizens from different walks of life.”
Corcoran added that Airbnb wished to continue supporting the tourism sector. “Airbnb is committed to facilitating a dialogue between them, the Ministry, and the relevant authorities, as their voices are valuable to the process. Airbnb will continue to engage through all processes to ensure that these distinctions and clarifications are clear.”