Overnight stays in people’s homes booked via sites like Airbnb are a long way off dominating the tourism market, according to government figures.
Responding to a parliamentary question from Claudine Konsbruck (CSV), economy minister Etienne Schneider (LSAP) reported on 12 November that there were 70,000 overnight stays booked via Airbnb in Luxembourg in 2017.
Compared to the 3 million total overnight stays recorded annually across the tourism sector, this figure was “relatively low”, the minister said.
What is more, the traditional established accommodation like campsite and hotels are increasingly using the Airbnb platform, and so form part of this 70,000 overnight stays.
Schneider said Luxembourg should not be compared to tourism hotspots like Amsterdam, Paris or Barcelona where Airbnb has exploded and therefore “seems to have an impact on the accommodation situation, as well as on the quality of life of inhabitants in certain districts. Considering the figures for Luxembourg, the use of this platform has not had a notable impact,” Schneider said.
A study commissioned by the European Commission found that tourists using the “collaborative economy”, by which they refer to renting a room or a person’s entire home for a short period, will stay on average 2.1 times longer than those who stay in a hotel. Furthermore, it helps spread tourism over a wider area of towns and often into rural areas. Yet, the report found while such accommodation was often cheaper than staying in a hotel, it did not have a negative impact on traditional tourist accommodation.
In Luxembourg, anyone renting out a room on a short-term basis for tourists is obliged to declare their earnings and conform to accommodation standards.
Schneider said that the economy ministry was in the process of analyzing the impact of the sharing economy on the country as a whole. The results are expected to be published during the first quarter of 2019.