Published On: Tue, Aug 1st, 2017

The rise of sharing economy, benefits and responsibilities an analysis of alternative accommodation

MilesWILLEMSTAD - Many would argue that the hotel sector is against alternative accommodations. The introduction of AirBnB in 2008 to the lodging industry created a significant change to the Tourism Landscape. Many where uncertain of how this would impact the hotel business in general and hotels were perceived as unwelcoming of this new online host. However today in 2017, the industry giants, the hotels have long understood that similar to other industries that have undergone massive disruption it is important to embrace change and adapt to the shifting needs of their customers in order to survive.

Fact is that todays customers are finding new ways to explore destinations and are looking for a different type of product. The Hotel industry both locally and on a global level are taking on their responsibility to innovate in order to maintain and grow their market share. The big elephant in the room is always referred to as AirBnB. AirBnB however, isn’t a completely new idea. Like most innovations AirBnB is an improvement of an already existing product. Through technology they have made unknown alternative accommodations within a destination accessible to all.

Nevertheless, however much the Hotel Industry embraces the Sharing Economy they would also like giants such as AirBnB, Booking.com, Expedia and Homeaway.com and other accommodation providers to “share” in its responsibilities towards the destination. In order to achieve sustainable development of the tourism industry and the destination as a whole, the hotel industry is subjected to many laws and regulations such as the payment of taxes on accommodation nights.  Taxes paid by accommodations providers make up a significant portion of the budget available to Curaçao Tourism Board to invest in marketing of the destination and product development.

An increase in our efforts as a destination to improve the performance of the industry is therefore inextricably bound to the contribution of all parties benefitting directly from the industry. Therefore, CHATA advocates for a level playing field where all business within the tourism industry exercise their responsibility towards the development of the industry and adhere to the law by complying with their taxes.

Curaçao in this case must be able to adopt new laws and legislation to keep up with the growing room inventory that is not being held accountable with for example LGB which is now referred to as OB. Curaçao is missing out on additional income for the government by not introducing strong legislation and policies for the alternative accommodation market. According to CHATA we could be collecting more than 10 million guilders on a yearly basis additionally just by simply introducing a stronger policy and regulation.

According to President & CEO, Miles Mercera “creating a Level Playing Field” should be our top priority. Tourism Investment and Benefits should be a collective effort. We all agree that we need additional Air Service or Marketing, but the current budget does not allow this to happen, therefore it is imperative to re-design our efforts of collection in place of LGB/OB and make sure that all who benefit from the industry also participate with their financial contribution.”

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