For many in the hotel industry, AirBnB is a problem. It’s become increasingly popular, and while there are some who argue that it makes travel accessible for those who would otherwise have to stay home, many more are concerned with how it has eaten into profits.
Well, hoteliers in Indonesia are making their concern and distaste known by lobbying the government there to ban the tech company, which allows owners of often private residences to rent out their homes to travelers. The Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association has asked the government in that country to block AirBnB, officially. Reports indicate that the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association Chairman Hariyadi Sukamdani has said the group does not have a problem with individuals who use the service in order to rent out a spare room or two, or even their homes for a weekend, but what it is objecting to is that companies have used AirBnB to buy out entire apartments to be rented via the platform, essentially using them to function as full blown hotels without then paying the same taxes and other fees that hotels in the country are subject to. Basically, the group’s position is that until regulations on the platform have been established and made clear, it is in the best interest of the hospitality industry in the country that the government there freezes the functioning of the service.
Political leadership in the country has responded by saying that a total ban on AirBnB in Indonesia is unrealistic, given that using the service to make money has become vital to too many people’s livelihoods. However, the government has also made clear that it understands the hospitality industry’s concern about the lack of regulation and that there are plans to consult with the Tourism Ministry to decide the exact sort of policy that the government should institute in order to be respectful and accommodating to all of the involved stakeholders.