The National Association of Portuguese Municipalities (ANMP) is against most of the proposed changes to present Local Lodging legislation under consideration in the Assembly of the Republic. The ANMP highlights the positive impact of holiday letting on the overall economy of the country in the current moulds.
In 2018, the Government plans to launch, under the framework of the Simplex+2018, a new “citizen card” for foreigners residing in Portugal, which will group in a single document identification numbers for tax (“NIF”), Social Security and the National Health System (“SNS”). According to the Secretary of State, with this new card, the delivery to the foreign citizen of all these identification numbers will happen simultaneously at the same place of issuance, cutting significantly the time and effort required.
Banning short-lived Airbnb accommodation in bustling areas, diverting cruise ships from the centre, boosting the tourist tax to almost double, and even limiting “fun” activities such as boating or Segway tours are just a few of the measures that are on the table to control tourism in Amsterdam.
Danish tax minister, Karsten Lauritzen, announced that the country wants a “sharing economy” to flourish, but on condition that operators pay tax. Denmark will also limit property listings to 70 nights a year. Owners can benefit from a tax-free allowance of up to €5,400 per annum. In addition to tax issues, Airbnb is blamed for pushing up house prices in major cities.
Last year, immigration grew 19% as compared to 2016, the highest increase in the last five years. “SEF” granted 29,055 residency permits (AR) to third-country nationals from outside of the EU in 2017, approaching pre-crisis figures.
The growth of Airbnb in Lisbon can be seen through the tourist taxes delivered to the City Council. In 2017, the total value of this levy charged in Lisbon in local lodging accommodations available on Airbnb came to €3.8 million. The number of guests staying in the Airbnb platform jumped from 1.6 million to 2.6 million last year.
Prime Minister António Costa declared: “We do not have an excess of Local Lodging. We have a lack of affordable housing.” The Government presented its “New Generation of Housing Policies” (NGPH), which includes various measures to stimulate urban rental and rehabilitation. Beyond contributions from the state, the goal is to create incentives for private individuals to place their properties with an affordable lease.”
The average annual income per owner of homes placed in Portugal on the Local Lodging network, Airbnb, is higher than in Italy or Spain. Only Japan surpasses the national average, according to a study by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which sees room for increasing taxes on this type of “digital” business.
More than four out of ten enterprises follow the trend of leisure tourists and choose Local Lodging for company travel, as revealed in a recent study by the Travelstore American Express. The survey shows that businesses are increasingly confident and express willingness to invest more in travel to Portugal over the course of 2018.
60% of the buildings currently used in Local Lodging were previously uninhabited according to a recent study issued by the Portuguese Hotel Association (AHRESP). Only a minority served as long-term leases to locals. The report also concluded that 56% of the “AL” buildings in Northern Portugal were formerly unoccupied. In the centre, the percentage of empty dwellings was 47% and in the Alentejo, 55%. The Algarve, Madeira and the Azores are still under analysis.