Airbnb out of control in Venice, properties double in 3 years

Among the “hosts” there are some who rent hundreds of apartment, in contradiction of the “sharing economy” promoted by the portal. Scarpa: “We need put a stop to these abuses”

Airbnb rentals available to tourists have almost doubled between 2015 and 2018. Venice is now confirmed to be one of the Italian cities with the highest presence of tourist rentals: with 8025 listings available on the famous portal for the month of August, Venice is fourth in Italy, after Rome, Milan and Florence. These numbers are revealed in an analysis by the Centro Studi di Federalberghi Nazionale of Italian rental listings on the Airbnb last month.

“At Venice the situation is out of control”

The study has prompted AVA Venezia (the Venice Hotel Association) to renew their call for urgent measures to be taken to reign in abuses and unfair competition. “The data regarding the numbers of tourist rentals in the city – commented AVA director Claudio Scarpa – confirm a situation in Venice which is clearly out of control”. For August there were 8025 rentals available on Airbnb in the city of Venice, a growth of 55.34% compared to August 2016. In all of Veneto there were 22,918 Airbnb listings; more than one in three are in Venice.

The 4 big lies

6,115 (or 76.20%) of the listings are for entire apartments, and 5,558 are available for periods longer than six months. Federalberghi and AVA are calling attention, therefore, to what can be called the 4 big lies of the “sharing economy”: “It is not true – they explain – that we’re talking about a form of supplementary income: they are in effect business operations, which are very often owned by agencies that manage multiple properties. This is true for 71.02% of Airbnb listings in Venice. It is not true that one shares experiences with the property owner – they add – as 76.04% of the offerings published on Airbnb in the city of Venice are for entire apartments in which nobody lives”.

These are not short term rentals

These are not even short term rentals, given that the majority of the listings are for apartments that are available for long periods. “It’s not true that the new formulas compensate for a lack of offering: the rentals on Airbnb – they add – are concentrated mostly in large cities and the major tourist locations, where the presence of official operations is greater. It is evident, therefore, that the customer ends up being deceived twice: the promise of living an authentic experience is broken, and the norms for caring for clients, workers, the collective and the market are evaded”.

135 rentals by one host

From the data in Venice it emerges that the “richest” host has 135 listings, all in the historic center. The second highest owner published 98 listings, the third 90. There are 1809 rentals that refer to a host that manages more than 10 properties, thus connected with “agencies” (some of which also specialize in Mestre). Among the hosts with foreign addresses, there is one from London who owns 36 rentals in Dorsoduro, Castello, Santa Croce, San Marco and Cannaregio, as well as one on Lido. Another from Paris manages 24. Then there are 14 owned by two hosts from Maritius, 6 in San Francisco, 7 Chicago, 5 Boston, 16 by two other London based hosts, 19 in Freiburg, 7 from Barcelona and others in Spain, France, Great Britain and the USA. Less than 800 rentals are connected with the mainland (more than 90% of which are in Venice).

Source: Venezia Today, 25 September 2018


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