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Ronel Van Deventer • 1 year ago

Very happy that action is taken. Hope they will also investigate some of the other online booking websites such as trivago and expedia and booking dot com. These sites are causing frustration for local travel agents and tour operators.

Thomas Müller • 1 year ago

Dear Ronel,

I am of the believe that their is nothing to investigate with regards to Online Travel Agents or Meta Search Engines. They are a Travel Agent like any other Travel Agent in this world and they have found a business model which is very successful on a global scale. Simply, their channel is digital instead of retail for example.

The local tour operators could play out many competitive advantages but they just don't seem to leverage on this. They also don't seem to to be keen to change their business model which was working for like the last 15 years while the entire world of travel has changed radically. Instead they prefer to complain and ask for protection. Why?

This can not be successful as we have seen in many other industries already. The record industry simply disappeared while trying to block with all efforts any kind of digital distribution. They lost it all to iTunes, Spotify etc. If they would have taken the opportunity, changed, rushing into digital aggressively and progressively, they could still "own" the market.

The Hospitality and Tourism Industry has gone and will further go through massive paradigm shifts and if you want to sustain your business, you have to be fast, you need to adapt accordingly and change your go to market, business model and the way you approach and gain prospects. But don't waste your time with complaining.

It is a free market and some of your colleagues are very successful in this perspective.

With AirBNB it is a bit different. AirBNB has created a complete new market and a complete new clientele. AirBNB encouraged home owners to rent out their rooms in competition to established hospitality businesses. It is obvious that those private operators have to be compliant with the regulations, getting registered, accredited, pay tax and levy like any other market player.

However, this has not been the case for many of the AirBNB operators and this is what authorities need to make sure. It is not about protectionism but making sure that rules and regulations are equally valid for all market players.

Thomas Mueller | CEO
rainmaker digital

Mark Beard • 1 year ago

So you welcome tourists and short term rental hosts but you want to jail them with beaurocratic red tape???

Thomas Müller • 1 year ago

Dear Mark,

Are you saying that all the 32.000+ registered hospitality establishments like Hotels, Lodges, Guesthouses, Guest farms etc. in South Africa are in a red tape bureaucracy jail?

Don't you think that, when offering accommodation on a commercial basis, and this is what it is if you setup your otherwise empty guest-room to rent out to foreigners on a commercial platform such as AirBnB, those "operators" should also have to stick to law, regulation, tax and levy payments like all of the 32.000+ other establishment? Why would they be different?

Thomas Mueller | CEO
rainmaker digital

Mark Beard • 1 year ago

My mind is just not tracking with l all this talk of AirBnB forcing people out of their homes, not paying taxes in the communities they are doing business, impacting in the hotel trade, yada, yada, yada...

In our case and others of which I am aware... we own and live in the properties in question. We pay property taxes, as well as tax on all our income.

Our guests make purchases, attend events, and eat in restaurants in the area, all the while paying local taxes. These people are helping to support jobs in our communities.

So if you want all moms and pops to drown in beaurocratic red tape and threaten them with arrest for letting out in the short term their spare room as per your example, thus denying them a minuscule share in the ever burgeoning tourism pie, then go ahead, arrest them.