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Flemish government to curb unofficial tourist accommodation

09:51 18/04/2014

After Uber, the rideshare app, the government of Flanders is now actively looking to ban the letting of rooms in the region to tourists through websites like couchsurfing.org and airbnb.be. Those offering accommodation via such a site can expect to get a letter about the new regulation, at the risk of a €250 fine for not adhering to new obligations.

Websites like couchsurfing.org and airbnb.be are a medium for many people in Belgium and around the world to let their rooms or entire homes to tourists. According to Geert Martin of the Flemish Department of Foreign Affairs, the government agency responsible for the licensing and inspection of tourist accommodation, anyone who accommodates tourists is required to register for a tourist permit and meet a number of health and safety requirements.

Written by Robyn Boyle

Comments

adyepj

Here we go again, yet another example of an anti-free market mentality in Belgium. About time someone broke the cartel of the opticians -- you can buy your prescription glasses much cheaper in the UK, France or Spain!

Apr 18, 2014 14:48
wales

what is he talking about he has the wrong item to comment on no mention of opticians etc on this one

Apr 18, 2014 17:16
Eddy8660

"Anyone who accommodates tourists is required to register for a tourist permit and meet a number of health and safety requirements."
This is a law that should be implemented and enforced.
My wife and I had a horrible experience at a B&B in Brussels last weekend.
Everything described online about that place was a lie, the owner of that apartment demanded cash (no receipt) and was very rude to us, I am American and my wife is Belgian, although we both speak French and Dutch fluently, we were treated with disrespect possibly due my nationality and also the fact that my wife is handicapped. I had to go find an ATM for cash to pay this person, when I came back, my wife was almost in tears, we decided there and then to only pay for one night - we planned on staying 10 days - and go back home the next day!
I sincerely believe that people such as this owner should be inspected for health issues as well as taxes, I only hope someone could report her in order to prevent other innocent victims to fall in her deceiving trap.

Apr 19, 2014 11:44