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Japan Creates New Rules for Home Sharing

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The Japanese government passed a series of new laws governing home sharing and short-term rentals, expected to have a significant impact on the travel industry, particularly for companies like Airbnb.

The regulations include a maximum limit of 180 rental nights per year for all homeowners in the country, accommodation providers are required to register with their local authority and absent landlords will need to outsource their property management to specialist companies.

The laws are intended to improve standards to the currently unregulated sector, while allowing Japan to better manage the rapidly rising number of international visitors, posing a challenge to the country’s outdated infrastructure.

Currently, Japan is one of Airbnb’s largest markets in the Asia Pacific region, with more than 50,000 listings. Its main rival, HomeAway, has fewer than 10,000 listings. These companies could soon face competition, as Japanese e-commerce giant, Rakuten, recently announced plans to launch a home-sharing company.

The home-sharing regulations are accompanied by looser hotel regulations, as the government tries to provide new accommodation options for a surging number of international visitors. Japan expects to reach 40 million visitors by 2020, the year the country hosts the Olympic Games.

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