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Brussels reaches data-sharing agreement with Airbnb, Booking on short-term lets

10 March 2020, 18:35 CET
Brussels reaches data-sharing agreement with Airbnb, Booking on short-term lets

Airbnb - Photo Max Pixel

(BRUSSELS) - A landmark agreement with Airbnb, Booking and others on data sharing, reached Thursday by the EU Commission, will allow Eurostat to publish data on their short-stay accommodations across the EU.

The agreement will for the first time permit access to reliable data about holiday and other short-stay accommodation offered via these 'collaborative economy' platforms. It will contribute to more complete statistics on tourist accommodation around Europe, allow public authorities to better understand the development of the collaborative economy and support evidence-based policies.

The collaborative economy / sharing economy is growing fast and covers many sectors. A survey conducted by Eurostat in 2019 showed that 21% of EU citizens used a website or an app to arrange accommodation from another person and 8% have done the same for transport services.

The EU executive is keen to acknowledge the benefits of short-term accommodation rentals as convenient solutions for tourists, as well as new sources of revenue for micro-entrepreneurs and SMEs. However, with this agreement it is also responding to concerns about the impact on local communities, particularly in popular tourist destinations.

"For the first time we are gaining reliable data that will inform our ongoing discussions with cities across Europe on how to address this new reality in a balanced manner," said Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton: "The Commission will continue to support the great opportunities of the collaborative economy, while helping local communities address the challenges posed by these rapid changes."

The agreement, signed between each platform and Eurostat, on behalf of the European Commission, envisages:

  • Regular and reliable data from the four platforms: Shared data will include the number of nights booked and the number of guests. Data will be aggregated at the level of municipalities. Platforms agreed to share data on a continuous basis.
  • Privacy: The privacy of citizens, including guests and hosts, is protected in line with applicable EU legislation. Data will not allow individual citizens or property owners to be identified.
  • Publication of data: The data provided by the platforms will undergo statistical validation and be aggregated by Eurostat. Eurostat will publish data for all Member States as well as many individual regions and cities by combining the information obtained from the platforms. It is expected that the first statistics could be released in the second half of 2020.

Flyer on Flash Eurobarometer Survey on Collaborative economy (2018)

Overview of Commission policy actions on Collaborative economy

Eurostat dataset on collaborative economy

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