Cyprus hotel construction boom pushes government to rein in short-term rentals

Cyprus: With hotel construction booming in Cyprus, more and more visitors to the country are turning to short-term rentals such as Airbnb, which the government wants to rein in.

Cyprus has experienced consecutive years of record numbers of tourists which led to the country reversing an economic crisis in 2013, when the government was forced to seek a bailout of 10 billion euros ($11.46 billion).

It was reported that construction of new hotels, refurbishments and expansion projects had multiplied by eight times in the first seven months of this year in Cyprus, compared to the same period in 2017.

Meanwhile, Cypriot hotel owners are wading into the argument and complaining about the increased competition as a result of the proliferation of short-term rentals. They have joined up with lawmaker Elias Myrianthous of the nationalist EDEK party, who wants to protect the future of the hotel industry in Cyprus.

Myrianthous said members of parliament were looking to amend a bill submitted to himself and centre-right DISY leader, Averof Neophytou, as tourist numbers this year look set to surpass the 3.6 million tourists who came to the country in 2017.

The measure now proposes that the owners of apartments or condos on short-term rental sites must get permission from other tenants in their buildings to lease their units even for just one night.

Myrianthous said: “Otherwise the flat owner will be acting against the law and will face consequences.”