Colombians who host their properties on AirBNB, the popular digital platform for accommodations, will now be required by the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism (MinComercio) to register with the National Tourism Register. AirBNB hosts will have 100 days from the formal announcement, expected at the end of this month, to complete their registration.
The new policy was announced by Colombian Minister of Commerce María Lacouture on Monday. She said that failure to comply will result in fines and could eventually result in the seizure of their property.
“Those who have properties in the platform have 100 days to formalize their situation. The registry will allow us to standardize processes with businessmen and create formal tourism guidelines and clear rules,” the Minister said.
Hosts that join the registry, called the Registro Nacional de Turismo (RNT), will be treated in the same way as hotel operators in Colombia. Owners can register their AirBNB properties at http://rnt.confecamaras.co/.
The registry defines clear rules, established by the Ministry of Commerce, that ensure the host list the property with all prices, taxes, tariffs and additional charges that could affect the final price. The rules also dictate that prices are either in Colombian pesos, or in another currency with a defined exchange rate to pesos.
Hotel owners and tourism operators welcomed the news, saying that it creates a level playing field with AirBNB hosts.
“This is excellent news for hotel managers because it shows government support for our industry after previous failings to regulate digital platforms. Those platforms announce hosting services in the country without complying with national regulations,” added Gustavo Toro, CEO of the Hotel and Tourism Colombia Administration (COTELCO).
A spokesman for AirBNB said that the company will cooperate with the government to comply with regulation standards in Colombia.