Amidst the good tourist turnout, citizens are calling for action to avoid the out-of-control crowding and short term housing boom due to the influx of peer-to-peer online homestay network in the Netherlands. With this, Airbnb, the biggest marketplace for this had just sealed an agreement with Amsterdam.
Reports from Telegraph UK site that last year alone, about 5.2 million tourists made their way to Amsterdam, which is alarming the government and its citizen. This number is quite huge considering the city like "The Venice of the North" has only 800,000 in population. As it happens, locals appreciate the tourists venturing into their city, but they do not like what is happening in terms of security and normality, especially during weekends and peak season.
One catalyst that the locals distinguish as the cause of this imbalance in when it comes to tourist and local interaction is the popularity of Airbnb, which is a channel for accommodations in the recent years. This startup company has provided many customers a means to circumvent the exorbitant hotel rates by offering private home listings that offer short-term or even long-term stay. As it grows in popularity, more and more residential areas had become a tourist flock mostly on weekends where the concept of "Disneyfication" originated, which are places are adapted to tourism demands. The Guardian reports that Airbnb has been battling with local authorities for eating into the housing stock, but also the technicalities of the accommodation present a gray area in law enforcement.
Due to this, an agreement was struck between Airbnb and Amsterdam wherein, Airbnb's responsibility of making sure to limit the number of hosting they a person can accommodate, and the number is 60 per year in Amsterdam. Unless the owner gets a proper license to be a full-on home stay business, they cannot exceed the limit. In addition, the peer-to-peer platform will also be introducing additional options and alerts on their site and app to enable better security measures and incident reporting.
Many people are skeptical about the change, but experts say that this is a good move by Airbnb to reinforce its tie-ups with cities, and avoid further problems that may lead to bigger issues. Accordingly, London also made a similar agreement with Airbnb that puts a listing limit to 90 per year.