From 2022, Airbnb will activate the digital collection of the tourism tax throughout Italy, handling directly the payment of short rentals to hosts and municipalities requesting them. To this end, Airbnb and Ancicomunicare have signed a cooperation agreement to reach out and inform the more than 1,100 local authorities (including municipalities, federations of municipalities and autonomous counties) that have imposed the tax to date. This was announced by Chris Lehane, Senior Vice President of Global Policy and Communications at Airbnb, on the occasion of Anci’s annual meeting in Parma.
Launched exclusively for Italy, the feature is one of more than 50 new features included in Airbnb’s winter edition, the latest update to the platform, along with an AirCover insurance policy, an innovative translation engine and improved access filters. To encourage and simplify tourism recovery, the company’s top management has also introduced a ‘charter’ for sustainable and responsible tourism, which foresees posting ads only with an identification code, and sharing host data to authorities for administrative and financial purposes.
Tourism tax Italy has more than 1,100 entities that have established a tourism tax. The number has exploded recently, turning 604 million euros in 2019, of which 298 are in the top 10 tourist destinations and 117 are in Rome alone (development of local finance institution Ifel Anci on Siope and Bdap data). But according to the law, those who will have the right are approximately 6000 people. The only platform to do so, Airbnb in recent years has activated MOUs with 24 major Italian destinations – including Rome, Florence, Milan, Turin, Naples and Palermo, facilitating the collection process for millions of arrivals and payments in 2019 over 22 million euros. In Italy, in the third quarter of 2019, 4 cities (Rome, Venice, Milan and Florence) accounted for 26% of flights on Airbnb. But in the same quarter of 2021, the “weight” of the cities themselves fell to 17%.
“With the dispersal of tourist flows after the pandemic, and the increase in the number of establishments, it has become clear that it has become necessary to find another solution,” Lihan explained. “This tool is designed to overcome the massive bureaucratic problem of having to make agreements with each municipality individually. The pandemic has led to a tourism revolution, which is now more dispersed, with more economic opportunities for local communities. We are committed to making this opportunity easier and more sustainable for administrations and hosts And guests. So far we’ve paid a total of more than $4 billion in local taxes to the world, but the expansion we’re launching in Italy is unprecedented.”
Effective March 1, 2022, Airbnb will make the collection available at the time of booking to all Italian hosts, municipalities and bodies that have set a tourism tax, through the use of digital payment tools. Moreover, for short-term rentals, Airbnb will also take care of transferring directly to the municipalities or bodies that will join the program. To make the transfer possible, it is necessary that the municipality or entity register on a dedicated portal. Ancicomunicare and Airbnb will participate in a campaign to introduce the registration portal in the coming months. Interested municipalities can contact Ancicomunicare at [email protected].
The simplification and digitization of the tourism tax is the first initiative of a true “charter” for sustainable and responsible tourism announced by Airbnb. This is a series of proposals to encourage and speed up the sector’s recovery which include: Compulsory registration: posting on digital platforms only for ads with barcode; Data sharing: sharing host data to the authorities for administrative and tax purposes; Tourism promotion: joint initiatives with tourism promotion authorities to re-launch Italy and its territories as a destination, taking advantage of post-pandemic tourism trends (eg smart work, long-term stays, digital nomads). Among the collaborations already initiated are the Protocol with the Municipality of Milan to promote rental contracts for housing for temporary use and with the Municipality of Florence to promote authentic local experiences; Good Neighborliness: Digital tools to ensure security and tranquility for both residents and guests.
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