Latest Headlines

Hotel projects grow as Airbnb is to be regulated

New hotels are sustaining a construction industry boom as hoteliers also go ahead with renovations and expansions, despite challenges posed by private self-service accommodation units.

Cyprus: Hotel projects grow as Airbnb is to be regulatedACCORDING to data released by the Cyprus Statistical Service, hotels are at the heart of the progress the building sector is witnessing.

New hotels, refurbishments and expansion projects have multiplied by eight times in the first seven months of the year, compared to the same period in 2017.

From January to July, hotel projects corresponding to 83,000 sqm. were licensed, compared to just 10,000 sqm. of projects licensed last year.

The 730% increase also accounts for one third of the licenses for new building projects.

Expected investments in the hotel industry include the construction of new hotel units island-wide while existing hotels are increasing their bed capacity.

Investments are encouraged by the increase in the number of tourists arriving in Cyprus, despite hotelier complaints about the erosion of their customer base by electronic booking platforms for apartments and villas.

Last year, a record 3.6 million tourists arrived in Cyprus and more are expected in 2018.

Private self-service tourist accommodation units rented out through web-based platforms such as Airbnb are soon to be regulated by law as EDEK MP Elias Myrianthous told the Financial Mirror.

These units, including flats, are to be included in the law regulating tourist units with the creation of an official register.

Myrianthous said MPs are currently looking to amend a bill submitted by himself and DISY leader Averof Neophytou, prior to the summer break.

The initial bill envisaged the inclusion of the self-service tourist accommodation becoming eligible to receive an operating license but left out Airbnb apartments in residential areas.

The House Commerce Committee now proposes that these flats are included on the pre-condition that the rest of the tenants of the building consent to a specific flat being used as tourist accommodation.

Myrianthous said a flat owner wishing to rent out his apartment through an electronic platform, will have to acquire written permission from the building’s management committee before being included in the registry.

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

The development is welcomed by the island’s hoteliers as they have campaigned for the Airbnb market to be regulated.

Chrisemily Psilogeni, General Manager of the Association of Cyprus Tourist Enterprises, in previous comments to the Financial Mirror said that accommodation units which are promoted through web-based platforms, operate without a license or carrying out necessary safety and hygiene checks.

“We are not opposed to modern trends, but we want to protect the hundreds of businesses that have been working for decades under adverse conditions, trying to maintain a high standard of tourist services provided,” she said.

Readers' comments

Comments on this article are no longer being accepted.

  • Jan says:

    What Muppets sit there all day and think up this up load of cobblers!! They should be encouraging home owners to rent out, with simple, uncomplicated, procedures in place.

    Tourism is the biggest source of income to the island and now they’re gonna try to slam private renters too!! It beggars belief what they think up and do they really believe everyone in a block of 40 Apts are all going to sign a agreement document for 1 Apt rental on ground floor?

    This will result in further people losing their homes & simply walking way from them resulting in more homes being handed back to the bank! The governing bodies are simply a joke and a laughing stock to many!!

    Time to get their act together and encourage further tourism with simplistic measures in place for private renters.

  • Graham says:

    I did try and get approval for letting from the tourist board but this is just not possible at the moment.

    One issue amongst many is that you need to change the residential status of the property to tourist which involves the planning department and they are not willing to do this.

    It will be interesting to see the new legislation and how it all works.

  • Steve says:

    Most of the holiday letting in Cyprus is illegal and has been so for a long time. My understanding is as follows:

    The income from letting Cyprus property is taxable from the first Euro.

    Anyone letting is supposed to apply to the tourist board and be vetted before letting commences. I think there are probably further hoops to jump through, such as fire and pool regulations (in single detached homes as well as the better known examples in jointly owned buildings).

    Ed: You can find the various pieces of legislation relating to Hotels and other Tourist Establishments at Laws and Regulations. (You will note that some of them are shown as being ‘inactive’.)

  • Costas Apacket says:

    Aah, I see the protectionist, closed market brigade are at it again on behalf of their well connected hotelier and developer kumbaros.

    Don’t mention competition because that is a dirty word when it affects the vested interests of the usual suspects.

  • Chandresh Patel says:

    I have been renting our house in Cyprus for a number of years . Does this mean I will now need to apply for a license ? And if so where do I apply for this?

    Ed: You should have been including the rental income you received on your tax return – see Paying tax on foreign income. We don’t know yet who’ll need a licence.

  • Graham says:

    Does anybody know if the new bill will also include if you rent out a room in your own house, B&B style?

    Ed: No-one knows what the bill will include until it becomes law. But regardless, if you’re renting a room in your house you should be declaring the rent as income on your tax return.

  • The views expressed in readers' comments are not necessarily shared by the Cyprus Property News.

  • Text size

SELECTED REPORTS

Back to top