Hoteliers want 'fair regulation' on Airbnb

PETALING JAYA (Oct 17): Local hotel associations have called on the government to find ways “to fairly regulate Airbnb”.

They also want the authorities to reduce regulations and simplify licensing procedures, reported FMT today.

Yap Lip Seng, CEO of the Malaysian Association of Hotels, told the news portal that hoteliers are “forced to jump through confusing hoops just to meet minimum standards”.

“There are local government licenses, there’s employment regulations, there’s a lot of different fragmented rules and regulations that we need to comply with, and the compliance costs get expensive when you start to add them up.

“On the one hand we have to register with the ministry of tourism, but that’s not connected to our licensing for business as a hotel, which is controlled by the local government and council,” Yap explained.

Meanwhile, executive director of the Malaysian Association of Hotel Owners, Shaharuddin M Saaid said “the slew of regulations” contribute to high overhead costs.

“Hotels need things like pre-construction permits, development permits and operating licenses, and the cost of all these things to hotels can be quite substantial.

“Airbnb should be treated like hotels are, but hotels should also enjoy loosened regulations to make doing business easier and lessen the administrative costs,” he added.

Hoteliers have consistently complained that the lack of regulation for Airbnb and homestays puts hotels at a disadvantage owing to their high overheads of operations.

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