First Ibero-American Meeting on the Sharing Economy addresses challenges of new tourism business models
PR No.: 16027
Over two days, the city of Montevideo hosted the First Ibero-American Meeting on the Sharing Economy in Tourism Accommodation. The event was aimed at discussing the challenges and opportunities presented by new business models in tourism accommodation.
The contribution of new models to the revitalization of the sector and issues relating to competition, taxation and consumer rights were among the topics discussed.
The meeting, which took place in Uruguay on 4 and 5 April, highlighted the need to analyse the challenges associated with new forms of accommodation and to propose solutions that generate equitable development of the sector.
UNWTO Deputy Director for the Americas Alejandro Varela pointed out: “Trends in the tourism sector are reflecting the emergence of new business models. It is necessary for the sector to find solutions to safeguard the rights of consumers, maintain quality standards and ensure a level playing field in which all companies can compete and flourish.” Varela explained that the UNWTO prefers to use the concept of “new business models”, as the concept of the “sharing economy” does not fully reflect the characteristics of these new forms of commercialization.
Among the conclusions of the participants in the meeting is the commitment of the public and private sectors related to tourism in Latin America to support the regulation of areas linked to the sector in line with the principles of the UNWTO Global Code of Ethics for Tourism. It was also agreed to request the UNWTO to create a comparative observatory bringing together the best practices and successful experiences of countries regarding new tourism business models and the solutions foreseen within each context.
Among the most important recommendations of the meeting was to suggest to the Latin American countries to consider the inclusion of new forms of tourist accommodation in their legislation and for them to comply with official requirements in the areas of safety, security and taxation. In this regard, the discussions addressed the need for the countries of the region, with the support of UNWTO, to develop a framework of responsible collaboration with online travel agencies, search engines and related actors in order to ensure transparency and ethics in tourism services.
One of the tools that would facilitate this process is the implementation, as has been done in the European Union, of a code of best practices ensuring the regulation of these new business models, covering online platforms and search engines as well as different modes of accommodation, thus preventing unfair competition.
UNWTO Media Officer Rut Gomez Sobrino
Tel: (+34) 91 567 81 60
Tel: (+34) 91 567 8100 / Fax: +34 91 567 8218