ATHENS – Short-term rental platforms on the Internet such as Airbnb will be regulated because they are changing the character of Greek city neighborhoods and raising rents.
While the popular sites are a key part of Greece’s resurging tourism industry Tourism Minister Vassilis Kikilias said the New Democracy government is working on a plan to make sure they don’t go too far.
He told a conference of the Hellenic Chamber of Hotels there’s a need for competition and that the plan will separate those who rent out properties on a large scale that is driving out residents in favor of foreign visitors for brief use.
That has seen some neighborhoods now being used essentially for short-term visits and driven out long-time residents who then have to face higher rents elsewhere because of the demand compared to the supply.
It was noted that other major cities such as Paris and Barcelona are also looking to control the spread of short-term platforms that were held down by the COVID-19 pandemic but are returning again for bigger use.
The number of short-term rentals in Greece has reportedly increased 300 percent in the last six years and it was noted that a study has found the deleterious effects of too many short-term rentals on the quality of life.
In October, he said that tourist accommodation rental platforms would be asked to adjust their advertising policies in a bid to regulate the short-term rentals again proliferating in popular areas.
Many Greek property owners have switched from renting out apartments by the month with long-term leases in favor of turning them into short-term stays for tourists, finding they can make more money.
Speaking during the National Strategy for Tourism 2030 event organized by the Greek Tourism Confederation (SETE), Kikilias said the ministry would be reaching out to Booking.com and Expedia, GTP Headlines said.
“In short, there will be no hotels listed without stars. Where hotels are advertised, for example, short-term rentals cannot be advertised. This will be clarified,” Kikilias said, without indicating how he could order that done.