With the approval in first debate of the Bill to regulate non-traditional hosting, Airbnb believes that the Bill in its current form will affect the service in the country.
Non-traditional accommodation (rooms, homes, villas, chalets, and bungalows, among others) will be subject to the 13% Value Added Tax (VAT), as well as require service providers and technological platforms (such as Airbnb) to register with the tourism board (ICT) and the tax department, if the Bill is finally approved in the second debate, expected to take place on Thursday (Sept. 5).
“Short-term accommodation in Costa Rica plays a crucial role in the local tourism industry and in the economy in general. In 2018, Airbnb hosts in Costa Rica welcomed more than 524,000 guests, contributing significantly to the local economy.
“The Framework Law for the regularization of non-traditional lodging and its intermediation through digital platforms, in its current version, will affect this prosperous component of Costa Rica’s tourism economy, which creates opportunities in coastal communities and rural areas throughout the country, ” said Airbnb through a statement.
As currently drafted, the legislation does not address the complexities that result from platforms domiciled abroad and the respective data protection laws that apply to them, according to the company that offers an online marketplace for arranging or offering lodging, primarily homestays, or tourism experiences.
On the other hand, Airbnb reiterated that it is committed to the Costa Rican government to gather solid contributions from all stakeholders involved “to create a regulatory framework that is fair, inclusive and sustainable.”