SEOUL, Oct. 27 (Korea Bizwire) — The government is engaged in the final stages of discussion with related industries for approval of shared accommodation services for residents of urban areas.
The talks, however, are stuck in a last-minute limbo as disputes have flared up over the government’s new regulations, which stipulate that such business may be operated only for up to 180 days per year.
Under the current Tourism Promotion Act, shared accommodation services in urban areas like Airbnb, a global house-sharing platform, are only available to foreign tourists.
The proponents for the expansion of shared accommodation services argue that the law does not reflect the reality given the open secret that such services are already available in the market.
Against this backdrop, the government is in talks with the shared accommodation industry to make such services legally available in return for limiting the actual operating period of each business to 180 days per year.
Such a move, however, is stuck in a last-minute limbo primarily due to the fierce conflict between the shared accommodation industry and the existing lodging industry.
“The restriction on the number of business days, in addition to the existing condition that requires hosts to reside in the homes they share, would reduce consumer benefits, while making it difficult for hosts to operate their business.” an Airbnb official said.
Existing lodging businesses, including hotels and motels that have been hit hard by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, are also voicing strong opposition.
“We’re opposing the shared accommodation service itself.” said Chung Kyung-Jae, chairman of the Korea Accommodation Industry Association, which represents the interests of the existing accommodation industry.
Ashley Song (firstname.lastname@example.org)