Airbnb reservations in Brussels have fallen 25% over the past three years, in spite of the sector experiencing a boom after COVID-19 restrictions were lifted, La Libre Belgique reports.
In Flanders and Wallonia, reservations on online booking platforms like Airbnb are on the rise. According to the rental platform, the Brussels Region’s regulation around providing accommodation is too strict.
At the same time, a government ordinance meant to ease restrictions on providing accommodation for private individuals is still under discussion.
Last year there were 43 million nightly reservations in Belgium – a 47% increase from 2021 and 1% increase compared to pre-pandemic levels in 2019. 19.4 million of these bookings were made in tourist establishments and 5.8 million reservations came through online platforms like Airbnb, according to official numbers from Statbel.
In 2019, Brussels registered 2.1 million rentals through online platforms. While numbers dropped during the pandemic, they were expected to bounce back in 2022. Instead, there were 500,000 fewer nights booked through online platforms.
In September 2019, Brussels Minister-President Rudi Vervoort presented a draft ordinance which would loosen the regulation on accommodation rentals and support private individuals looking to rent their accommodation and combat fraud. Hosts would still need to obtain an urban planning compliance certificate from local authorities.