Istanbul [Unsplash]

Ministers plot short-term rental legislation in Türkiye

Türkiye: Ministers in Türkiye are planning to introduce tighter regulation for the country’s short-term rental industry, in a bid to ensure equality in competition with hotels and other accommodation providers.

Speaking at a press conference in Istanbul on Monday, Mehmet Nuri Ersoy, the Turkish culture and tourism minister, said that the government would bring in legislation that ensures accommodation service providers are appropriately taxed and host / property owner identities can be disclosed with the relevant authorities in Türkiye.

Ersoy suggested that the short-term rental sector, as well as other factors such as the country’s earthquakes in February and May’s general elections, had had a detrimental effect on occupancy rates for hotels.

He said: “The earthquake in February and general elections in May, cold weather until July, issues in the Russian geography affecting tourists’ preferences and the global recession also contributed to this low occupancy rates in some hotels

“We are not against short-term rental practices. We are working on how we can incorporate these practices into our own system. We are working on a new regulation,” he added.

According to the minister, Türkiye’s tourism industry has rebounded well in terms of demand after the fatal earthquakes earlier this year. It was reported that the number of tourists visiting the country in the first half of 2023 rose by 17 per cent, while tourism income shot up by 27 per cent to $21.7 billion.

However, Türkiye’s banking industry watchdog [BDDK] announced on the same day as the press conference that it had removed the option of paying in instalments on credit cards for international travel expenses, including direct and third-party bookings for accommodation and flight reservations.

Two major earthquakes with a magnitude of 7.8 and 7.4 struck central and southern Türkiye and northern and western Syria on 6 February, leaving thousands of buildings, including schools and hospitals, destroyed and infrastructure badly damaged. More than 50,000 people were killed and at least 15 million people were affected.

The editorial team at IHM [publisher of ShortTermRentalz] highlighted the charitable relief efforts of companies across the travel and hospitality landscape in response to the earthquakes.

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