More than 100,000 people used the Airbnb service in Slovakia last year, the Hospodárske Noviny daily wrote on August 7, citing the platform’s report. When compared to the other Visegrad Group (V4 – Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary) countries, Slovakia posted the highest increase in the number of tourists using this shared economy platform.
A total of 2.7 million people stayed in accommodation offered by more than 36,000 hosts via Airbnb in the V4 countries last year, stemming from the company’s report on trends in shared accommodation.
The increase in Slovakia in 2017 represented 83 percent, while in Poland the number of guests using Airbnb grew by 70 percent, in the Czech Republic by 52 percent, and in Hungary by 44 percent.
Last year, 106,000 people found accommodation in Slovakia through this platform; from this number domestic tourists comprised the biggest share, at 14 percent. They were followed by tourists from the UK and Germany.
Notably, it was mostly Airbnb hosts outside Bratislava whose share grew in 2017: compared to the previous year, they recorded double the number of guests.
Despite the increase, traditional hotels need not worry about losing their clients. Quite the contrary, the Transport Ministry’s statistics suggest that in 2017, more than 5 million visitors used their services, which is an increase of 350,000 compared to the year before.
Hoteliers don’t fear competition
The general manager of the Association of Hotels and Restaurants of Slovakia, Marek Harbuľák, said – as quoted by the daily – that local hoteliers have been feeling the increase in the shared economy offer for four years already, but have recorded no case in which an accommodation facility had to close down due to the mass switching of tourists to Airbnb in its area.
However, the hoteliers have a complaint against Airbnb, reminding it of missing rules or duties for the platform hosts: “Any strategy or its definition is missing in the shared economy in Slovakia, as well as the laying down of at least basic rules stemming from these,” he said for HN.
Legal and tax issues
Slovakia is taking steps towards foreign companies operating in the digital economy, like Airbnb. Since the beginning of 2018, transactions made in Slovakia are supposed to be taxed in the country. Airbnb (and other shared-economy companies) should open a facility in the country to process income tax and revenue or profits from this fixed facility should then be taxed through a tax return.