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Arrangement of accommodation via online platforms

Act on Collection of Overnight Stay and Research Institute Levies in the Province of Salzburg (Salzburg Overnight Stay Levy Act [SNAG])

This Act recasts the legal basis for Salzburg tourism levies. This involves two key measures: first, the merging of the provisions on tourist taxes, visitors taxes and a research institute levy from the Salzburg Tourist Tax Act 2012 [Salzburger Ortstaxengesetz 2012], Provincial Law Gazette No 106, and the Visitors Tax Act 1993 [Salzburger Kurtaxengesetz 1993], Provincial Law Gazette No 41. The aim here is to remove unnecessary and inefficient redundancies and incorporate the concept of deregulation into provincial law. The other key measure is to introduce special provisions to address the major changes in the overnight accommodation sector in recent years. The Salzburg Overnight Stay Levy Act [SNAG] will serve as a framework for this recasting.

The major upheavals in the overnight accommodation sector, particularly evident in shifting guest preferences for accommodations (instead of hotels and guest houses, private accommodations, mainly booked through online platforms such as Airbnb, 9flats or Wimdu, have been enjoying increasing popularity for quite some time), have rendered current regulations inadequate. Private accommodation providers are pushing into the overnight accommodation market as new participants, with competitive advantages over other market participants under the current regulations. These advantages stem, on the one hand, from legal uncertainty regarding the applicability of the Tourism Levy Act to private accommodations, and on the other hand from difficulties in enforcement due to a lack of disclosure and reporting obligations.

Within the framework of the SNAG, to achieve equal treatment of all participants on the overnight accommodation market and rule out competitive advantages for specific groups, the current provisions must be amended to expressly extend their scope to cover private accommodations and also to provide levy authorities with tools for effective enforcement.