Lithuania: In the first of its kind in Central and Eastern Europe, Airbnb has signed its first partnership to collect tourist taxes in Vilnius in Lithuania.
As of 1 February, Airbnb will automatically collect tourism levies due per night and per person when travellers book stays in the Lithuanian capital, before transfering it directly to the city on behalf of hosts and guests.
The introduction of the digital solution ensures that Airbnb will lessen the administrative burden for tourism organisations and hosts.
Airbnb also becomes the first travel platform to sign an agreement of this type with a city in Lithuania and in Central and Eastern Europe.
Inga Romanovskienė, director of Vilnius city tourism and business development agency “Go Vilnius”, said: “Vilnius is being discovered by more and more tourists as an amazing place for city breaks filled with culture, history, and great food in a walkable UNESCO-listed Old Town.
“Moreover, Vilnius is packed with natural settings – almost half of the city is filled with green spaces and it’s a perfectly safe destination for holidays.
“Vilnius is also a dynamic city where agreements with important partners such as Airbnb are reached quickly. It’s a significant improvement for the administration of the city tax for hosts and tourists alike,” she added.
According to a press release, Airbnb has reached more than 400 agreements with local and national governments and organisations around the world with regards to the automated collection of tourism taxes.
Globally, Airbnb says it has already collected more than $2 billion in tourist-related taxes through such agreements.
Kathrin Anselm, general manager DACH & CEE, Airbnb, said: “Airbnb is working with regulators and tourism organisations to promote responsible and sustainable tourism and enable home sharing in the Baltics.
“We are particularly excited about partnering with the City of Vilnius, as this is our first partnership on tourism levies in the region, and also the first partnership of the sort in Central and Eastern Europe,” she added.
For more information, visit the Airbnb website here.