For Immediate Release July 21, 2020
St. John’s – Hospitality NL looks forward to working with Government of NL as they determine appropriate framework needed to address inefficiencies within the Tourism Establishment Act. The industry association is pleased with this decision to review and potentially amend legislation around unlicensed accommodations, which comes after much advocacy on the part of Hospitality NL.
“The rapid growth of unlicensed accommodations in our province has had huge implications on the tourism sector,” said Steve Denty, Chair, Hospitality NL. “These operators are not required to abide by basic health and safety regulations, plus they avoid having to pay taxes and other fees that our licensed operators are paying. We have been working diligently to level the playing field, insisting that there must be a review to ensure the tourism industry is protected and strengthened in this province. It’s an investment in fairness.”
In order for a business to offer accommodation services, it typically would be regulated by federal, provincial and municipal laws. In NL, the Tourism Establishment Act regulates roofed accommodation providers which specifies legislative requirements before they are licenced. Once licenced, these providers pay essential fees and taxes, while committing to maintaining a certain standard. However, platforms like AirBnB have made it easy for unlicensed accommodators to exist. This has been called unfair business practice by those who operate under the current Act.
“We know that this kind of unregulated system can put travelers and tourists at risk, while also negatively impacting the overall quality and reputation of our province’s tourism sector. Therefore, we are looking forward to working with the Government of NL as we all strive to protect this industry, for the betterment of everyone,” says Denty.
As technology (and the internet) continues to evolve, peer-to-peer sharing of the economy and its assets is becoming more accessible. Hospitality NL has no desire to restrict this access but insists that there must be regulations and some oversight from governments.
“Hospitality NL is committed to ensuring that the tourism and hospitality industry operates as efficiently and successfully as possible, especially during this unprecedented time. And a big part of this is ensuring equality and fair competition for those who are investing in this sector and creating opportunities for economic diversity,” concludes Denty. “These short-term rental platforms have seized millions of dollars in this province and threatens the survival of those operating legitimate businesses. While there is room for both types of accommodations, there must be regulations.”
For more information on Hospitality NL and the work taking place to strengthen the tourism and hospitality sector in NL, please visit www.hnl.ca
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