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German hoteliers welcome Airbnb clampdown

MARITIM Hotels says new restrictions on short-term listings are "paramount", while VisitBerlin avoids weighing in

Pictured: MARITIM Hotels say the changes will be positive for Berlin hoteliers, including the proArte Hotel Berlin

German hotels have welcomed the Berlin government's decision to clamp down on Airbnb listings, while the city's convention bureau has avoided weighing in on the controversial decision.

MARITIM Hotels, the largest private German-owned hotel group, told M&IT it was vital accommodation providers were regulated to uphold quality in the city.

Berlin's recent ban on short term rentals, which sees property owners face heavy fines if they list half or more their property without a license, was upheld by the city's administrative court last week. 

The controversial decision is thought to be a catalyst in other cities such as Tokyo, where a meeting of more than 1,000 hotel operators took place last week, to call for more restrictions on short-term listing sights.

Asked how the changes might affect the city's conference and association industry, VisitBerlin said it was a "decision by the senate of Berlin".

It added: "Berlin has an excellent hotel landscape which offers a good value for money. For congress biddings, meetings and events we only cooperate with the hotel industry. This allows us to offer the clients equal services for large numbers of room blocks."

Under the ban, which came into effect 1 May, people who rent out more than 50 per cent of their property on a short-term basis without a permit from the city will face a fine of up to €100,000 (£78,000).

Mark Spivey, director of international sales for MARITIM Hotels, the largest private German-owned hotel group, said the changes were positive for the industry.

"We welcome the recent ruling in Berlin that somewhat restricts Airbnb listings. The various legislations and licences regarding standards and taxation are paramount in this industry and hoteliers in Germany respect these fully," he said. 

"It is important that all accommodation providers adhere to German laws in regards to the provision of accommodation, as this will ensure the industry remains regulated as well as provide travellers with peace of mind that the accommodation choice they make is fully governed should any issues arise during their stay."

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