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SA tourism body optimistic government will regulate ‘unfair’ Airbnb

Tourism Business Council of South Africa said it had spoken to the tourism department about its concerns and was optimistic about an upcoming amendment to the Tourism Act.

Tourism Business Council of South Africa CEO Tshifhiwa Tshivhengwa. Picture: @TheEventSA/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - The Tourism Business Council of South Africa says the country's hotels are losing millions of rand because some tourists choose to use Airbnb instead.

The council's CEO, Tshifhiwa Tshivhengwa, said while the tourism body had no qualms with Airbnb, the online accommodation platform should be regulated.

“Let’s have entry rules. What is it that a person who wants to rent their house or their room have to do as an entry rule,” he said.

“We’re not saying they must be like hotels. We’re saying we can’t just leave that space untouched, unregulated.”

Tshivhengwa said it was unfair that the regulated industry, which contributes to the national Treasury, has also been subsidising unregulated Airbnb operations.

He said the council had spoken to the Tourism Department about its concerns and was optimistic about an upcoming amendment to the Tourism Act.