The authorities of the EU countries have long and unsuccessfully tried to impose restrictions on the activities of Airbnb. What the regulators failed to do, the coronavirus did. Bans on international travel have reduced the flow of tourists renting houses and rooms.
This has led to the fact that over the past year, bookings on the short-term rental property market in the EU countries have fallen by 47% compared to the pre-pandemic 2019.
In particular, in Cyprus, the figure decreased by 60%. Local homeowners who previously placed their properties on Airbnb began to massively look for tenants among the local population for a long-term period, while tourists usually rented apartments for a short time.
It is worth noting that along with Cyprus, the short-term rental market has suffered significantly in seven other EU countries: the Czech Republic, Greece, Italy, Hungary, Malta, Slovenia and Iceland.
It is noteworthy that things were the worst at the beginning of the year - in January and February, when the tourist flow significantly decreased.
At the same time, after many countries relaxed travel restrictions in the summer, the number of overnight stays has recovered, although it is still much lower than in 2019 (-38.3% in July and -25.8% in August).
By the way, traditional summer destinations around the Mediterranean Sea, as well as large cities, have suffered much more than smaller resorts and cities in Europe.
The main destinations of urban tourism, such as Rome (-78.0%), Barcelona (-75.6%) or Prague (-73.5%), lost about three quarters of their overnight stays. At the same time, domestic tourism decreased in these cities by 6.7%, and international tourism – by more than two-thirds.
Countries such as Spain, Italy or Croatia, which in previous years had a very high share of foreign visitors (67.7%, 74.1% and 95.4%, respectively), suffered much more than, for example, France or Germany, where the share of foreign tourists was much smaller (42.7% and 36.9%).
Airbnb explains the current situation by the fact that people have begun to change their habits while traveling, preferring small towns to popular tourist centers.
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