The Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI) has asked the government to block global hospitality brand AirBnB in Indonesia, according to Communications and Information Technology Minister Rudiantara.
“I got a call, ‘Rud, can Airbnb blocked?’ PHRI asked that it be blocked because of its effect on the hotel business. So what are we going to do?” Rudiantara said as quoted by Detik.
The “effect” the minister was referring to is the disruption AirBnB is thought to have caused to the conventional hotel industry.
According to the PHRI chairman Hariyadi Sukamdani, it does not have a problem with individuals renting out a spare room or two, but they ask that hosts on AirBnB, particularly companies that have bought entire apartments to be rented out on the digital platform, be treated the same as and regulated like a hotel. This includes having to pay the same taxes that hotels are charged. Until regulations on platforms like AirBnB are clear, it is best that the government temporarily freeze the services, Hariyadi said in a press release.
Minister Rudiantara has responded by saying that imposing a total ban on AirBnB was unrealistic given it is a technological innovation that is important to many people’s livelihoods. However, he understands the industry’s concerns regarding the lack of regulation and promised to consult with the Tourism Ministry to decide what sort of policy the Indonesian government should make in terms of regulating the service.
Commenting on the matter, AirBnB says it has always been a tax-compliant company and is willing to work with the Indonesian government in regards to regulation in Indonesia.
“We follow the prevailing rules and pay all the applicable taxes, as we have done so around the world. The company tax is a profit tax, and Airbnb is a young company that invests a lot in our future in Indonesia without exception, and we look forward to working with the government to achieve this goal,” Goh said, as quoted by Viva.
photo by Agoda