The popularity of short-term private rentals, facilitated by platforms like Airbnb, has led to a decline in hotel occupancy rates in various districts of Antalya, Turkey. In response, the country’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism has opted to tighten regulations and increase taxes for property owners in an effort to balance the playing field, as reported by the Hurriyet newspaper.
This shift in preference toward private accommodations has been particularly notable this year, causing a noticeable decline in hotel revenues.
According to experts, the rise in private apartment rentals has led to an estimated 19% of tourists opting for this accommodation type. This has caused a substantial number of hotel rooms to remain unoccupied, even as the overall number of tourist nights in Turkey increased by 23%. Even affluent tourists are now opting for villas and homes over luxury hotels due to cost-effectiveness and less stringent occupancy regulations.
President of the Mediterranean Hoteliers Association (AKTOB), Kaan Kavaloglu, stressed the need for tax conditions to be equal for both apartment owners and hoteliers in order to level the competitive playing field.
Previously, Turkey’s Minister of Culture and Tourism, Mehmet Nuri Ersoy, announced the implementation of new rules for short-term property rentals. This includes requiring property owners to provide information about occupants, similar to hoteliers, as well as the introduction of special taxes for these owners.
Antalya’s Governor, Ersin Yazici, shared that the province’s authorities will scrutinize the rental conditions for foreigners and take actions such as eviction if the property owner does not have an appropriate agreement. This increase in foreign-owned property rentals has notably surged in 2022, especially in the popular Konalyta district in Antalya.
The Turkish tourism sector has seen a year-on-year increase of 11.3% in foreign tourist arrivals from January to June 2023, totaling 19.6 million visitors. The industry’s response to the shift in accommodation preferences highlights the need for adaptability and regulation to ensure the balanced growth of both hotel businesses and private property rentals in the country’s tourism landscape.