The nine-year, five-Games partnership inked last November between the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Airbnb to provide accommodation for athletes, spectators and fans has put South-east Asian hoteliers on edge even though none of the arrangements will make it to this region.
As a global partner, Airbnb will support the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022, the Olympic Games Paris 2024, the Olympic Winter Games Milano Cortina 2026 and the Olympic Games Los Angeles 2028.
ASEAN Hotel & Restaurant Association (AHRA) president Eugene Yap said such an arrangement will be rejected by hoteliers in South-east Asia due to the lack of regulations on short-term rentals, which could result in safety and security problems that would dent the destination’s reputation.
Yap said: “What the IOC did with Airbnb may inspire similar arrangements for regional events such as the South-east Asian Games. AHRA does not welcome such arrangements.”
He explained: “There are issues of short-term rentals being a source of public nuisance, and concerns around safety and security. In the worst-case scenario, one is not able to trace terrorists who come into a destination and stay with an unregulated short-term rental. With legitimate hotels, all guests are registered so the government can get all the information they need.”
Working with short-term rentals also result in diminished economic impact for the destination, opined Yap who explained that hotels are a major contributor to local taxes and tourism receipts through their onsite recreational and dining facilities.