The Taiwan Tourism Bureau announced recently that it is promoting legal accommodation and ending “unlicensed rentals”.

This is in an effort to safeguard the interests of international tourists, and provide safe and high quality accommodation for them.

Over 500 tour operators from around the country, dressed in T-shirts bearing the slogan “Backlash against Illegal Rentals” turned up to support the government’s efforts to control unlicensed rentals that have had a huge impact on Taiwan’s travel safety and image.

“Taiwan has tens of thousands of legal hotels and B&Bs, which means that there is enough accommodation supply in the travel market,” a spokesperson from Ez Travel said. “The responsibility of travel agencies should be in actively developing and cooperating with legal hotels, to create a win-win situation for the tourism industry. The consumer disputes arising from the sales of cheap and unlicensed rentals would create a negative impact on the image of the travel agencies and cause a great loss for them.”

International travel platform Lion Travel said that it will provide consumers with safe, clean B&Bs at reasonable prices. But if local governments discover any violations and verify it, the hotel-related products would be removed from their travel website.

Meanwhile, Booking.com and Agoda agreed to fight unlicensed rental when they receive violation reports.

Data from AirDNA, an international data analysis website, showed that the primary consumer groups of backpackers and travellers renting short-term housing are young people aged between 21 and 30 who relatively lack safety considerations.

In recent years, the bureau has continued to promote the concept of legal accommodation, and its efforts have borne fruit. In addition to working with local governments in the implementation of fines, punishments and business closures, the bureau’s Travel and Accommodation Department also said that the government has actively controlled the sales of unlicensed rentals from travel agencies. The bureau has imposed heavy taxes and hefty penalties on unlicensed sales of unlicensed rentals provided by overseas travel e-commerce companies.