Costa Rica is the latest country to enter the short term rentals debate. Community leaders urgently call for government action to preserve “Pura Vida”.
— Bary Roberts
SAN JOSE, SAN JOSE, COSTA RICA, September 15, 2023/EINPresswire.com/ — The peaceful nation of Costa Rica is the latest country to enter the short term rentals debate. Community leaders and tourism professionals urgently call for government action to preserve Costa Rica’s famous “Pura Vida” model of sustainable tourism. They claim that the unchecked growth of short-term rentals in Costa Rica is distorting housing markets (Barker, 2020). They further argue that unregistered rentals compete on an uneven playing field with heavily regulated, traditional lodging.
Costa Rican lawmakers cite the potential to generate over $120 million in annual tax revenue as an additional incentive for regulation. However, overseeing compliance for 40,000 short-term rentals in Costa Rica is an overwhelming task for local authorities. They argue that platforms like Airbnb, Vacasa and VRBO should therefore shoulder responsibility.
“We are not opposed to the short term housing business, we only demand it be put on equal footing with formalized and registered businesses” said Bary Roberts of industry group Tourism for Costa Rica.
Costa Rica is not the first destination to face this challenge (Guttentag, 2018). The surge in short-term rentals presents pressing challenges for communities worldwide (Kale, 2022). Local leaders are uniting to address the detrimental effects:
Affordable Housing Shortage: Housing availability issues are exacerbated by the conversion of long-term rentals into short-term stays, leaving fewer homes for permanent residents (George, 2023).
Disrupting Communities: Frequent turnover from short-term tourists disrupts community stability, compromising safety and quality of life.
Strain on Resources: Transient renters strain local resources, lead to traffic congestion and increased demands for services, burdening unprepared communities.
Distorted Housing Markets: Short-term rentals distort the housing market, creating competition between traditional renters and investors, resulting in unaffordable prices (Bradbury, 2022).
Tourism destinations around the globe haven awoken to the challenges of short-term rentals and are taking steps to curb them. Barcelona, Spain, implemented regulations requiring hosts to obtain licenses and designated specific areas for its short-term rentals. In Paris, France, restrictions limit the number of days homeowners can rent their residences. Most recently, New York City imposed restrictions on short-term rentals.
The short-term rental dilemma has ignited spirited discussions regarding its impact on local communities. While rentals provide homeowners extra income, promote tourism, and offer travelers unique accommodations, detractors argue that these benefits should be balanced against concerns about rising housing costs, neighborhood disruption, and strains on local infrastructure. Citizens worldwide are sounding the alarm on the unchecked growth of short-term rentals, calling on legislators to craft balanced solutions.
Barker, G. (2020, February 21). The Airbnb Effect On Housing And Rent. Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/sites/garybarker/2020/02/21/the-airbnb-effect-on-housing-and-rent/?sh=4bad85272226
Bradbury, R. (2022, December 7). Airbnb is running riot in Small-Town America. WIRED.
George, D. (2023, September 3). 4 reasons Airbnbs are partly to blame for the housing crisis. The Motley Fool. https://www.fool.com/the-ascent/mortgages/articles/4-reasons-airbnbs-are-partly-to-blame-for-the-housing-crisis/
Guttentag, B. P. D. (2018, August 29). What Airbnb really does to a neighbourhood. BBC News. https://www.bbc.com/news/business-45083954
Kale, S., & Blood, D. (2022, August 10). ‘I wanted my children to grow up here’: how Airbnb is ruining local communities in north Wales. The Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2022/aug/10/i-wanted-my-children-to-grow-up-here-how-airbnb-is-ruining-local-communities-in-north-wales
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