Prague wants to cut Airbnb tourism in half
Matěj Koutný spoke with Czech Radio from one of the one hundred flats his company Blahobyty manages for owners by renting them out to the hordes of tourists that are usually choking the streets of Prague at this time of year. He says there's already been a slight uptick in the number of tourists making reservations through Airbnb and other platforms, but it's still nothing like the usual flood. "In a standard month, you have occupancy of 85 to 90 percent," he told Czech Radio. "Now we have occupancy of around 30 percent." Koutný says the problem is that those coming at the moment are arriving at the last moment by car, but the cheap airlines he relies on haven't resumed flights yet. In the meantime, the City of Prague is planning to propose legislation to the national parliament that would limit the number of days flats could be leased out on a short-term basis to 30, 60 or 90 days.
Not surprisingly, Koutný doesn't like that idea. It's also not surprising that he's the chairman of the Czech Association of Landlords and Private Accommodations. "Limiting the number of days will result in the opposite," he warns. "Those who do it legally will go off market. The whole market will shift to the tray zone where a single flat will be tossed around by four entities."