Amsterdam rental report published by Airbnb amid short-term rental crackdown

Amsterdam: Airbnb has revealed landlords hosted 2.5 million overnight stays via its rental platform in Amsterdam in 2017.

The landlords reportedly had 800,000 visitors, who stayed over three days on average – almost twice as long as the typical stay in a hotel or guest house that year, according to the company.

Based on such figures, the 19,000 hosts would have rented out rooms or their entire property for an average of 132 nights in the year.

The numbers are revealed in a report written by consultancy Ecorys and commissioned by Airbnb, which analyses the impact of three proposals by Amsterdam city government to control spiralling levels of tourism in the city.

The city government announced this week its intention to ban Airbnb rentals entirely in three areas of the city, including the red light district, due to the perceived negative impacts on social cohesion, rising house prices and inequality.

Next year, the maximum number of days that private house owners can rent to tourists will be limited to 30 days, down from the current allowed amount of 60.

Meanwhile, Dutch MPs have proposed making home rental infringement as serious as any other fiscal crime and are cracking down hard on tax evasion. The government aims to create a national registration scheme for private rentals within a year in the hope that it will address concerns about illegal rentals and ‘overtourism’.

The new Ecorys report, however, points out that Airbnb accommodation represents a modest 11.9% of all overnight stays in the Dutch capital. It also claims its guests are responsible for more than a fifth of the €2.3 billion Amsterdam receives in revenue.

The report says new rules limiting private rentals to 30 nights a year will result in 310,000 fewer overnight stays while new hotels in the pipeline will add 3.7 million annual overnight stays by 2022.

It says: “Despite these rules [to control tourism] in the years ahead many more tourists will come to Amsterdam. The number of visitors is expected to grow by about 2.1 million.”

It also argues that Airbnb apartments are more widely spread over the city than hotels, which are concentrated in the city centre.

The report concludes: “Measures aimed at curbing Airbnb-related tourism will have a limited effect on the total numbers in Amsterdam but because Airbnb guests spend more on average, the effect on spending will be relatively larger.’
Airbnb spokesman Bernard D’heygere said the company had written to Amsterdam council to organise a ‘round table’ discussion with other tourist-related organisations, and added it would welcome the proposed registration scheme.

An Amsterdam city council spokesperson revealed the figures in the Ecorys report match the amounts Airbnb transfers in tourist tax. She said the average of 132 days per rental was probably due to the fact that up to 750 properties have short stay licences and some 5,000 operate as B&Bs, which can legally rent all year round.

The spokesperson added: “We are aware of the invitation from Airbnb for the round table. However, I’d like to point out that the city of Amsterdam is already in contact will all kinds of stakeholders in the tourism sector and this topic is a high priority for both the municipal council, mayor and deputy mayors.”