New short-term rental laws in Japan ‘stink’, says Airbnb

Airbnb creates $10M fund to cover cancelled reservations in Japan after regulatory shift

Airbnb creates $10M fund to cover cancelled reservations in Japan after regulatory shift

"Any reservation scheduled for guest arrival between June 15 and June 19 at a listing in Japan that does not now have a license has been cancelled", Airbnb writes. "It's particularly disruptive for guests who have a trip to Japan planned for the weeks and months ahead".

The home-sharing company also set up a $10-million fund to cover expenses for travelers expected to arrive in Japan who are now without accommodation.

With these new regulations, the Wall Street Journal reports that "it has led to the loss of tens of thousands of listed offerings as well as canceled reservations". The announcement affects bookings made before June 15. Japan's new law, passed past year, requires Airbnb hosts to register their listings and display their license numbers by June 15 or they will be unable to let rooms.

"As a result, any reservation scheduled for guest arrival between June 15 and June 19 at a listing in Japan that does not now have a license has been cancelled", Airbnb said.

Problem is, many hosts "are actively engaged in the registration process or awaiting their license", Airbnb said of the issue.

Market leader Airbnb Inc had 62,000 listings in Japan earlier this year, but as of May 11, the Japanese government had approved 152 of 724 applications for home-sharing, according to the Japan Tourism Agency.

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The article says local authorities in some cities have added more restrictions to the new rules. Finally, there'll be a $100 Airbnb Experience coupon.

Airbnb has said it is aiming to have one billion annual guests worldwide by 2028.

Professor Pinar Ozcan, Professor of Strategic Management at Warwick Business School, who researches Airbnb and the sharing economy said: "This is further proof that the effective management of government regulations and public perceptions is no less important to firm performance than establishing demand in the marketplace".

To help guests deal with the "extraordinary disruption", the company made a decision to set up a 10-million-U.S. -dollar fund to cover reasonable additional expenses for those impacted by the change.

Airbnb and other holiday rental companies have publicly welcomed the law, saying it removes the uncertainty that has long existed in the sector. "We have to pay more for a less-satisfactory place", he told the WSJ.

"As governments attempt to close these loopholes as quickly as possible to diffuse the pressure building from the affected parties, sharing platforms have no choice but to co-operate with them".

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