As Marija Crnjak/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 24th of May, 2019, Croatia’s private accommodation renters who advertise their premises on platforms such as Booking.com and Airbnb should make sure they are properly registered on the eVisitor system in order to avoid potentially serious consequences. A visit from an inspector could occur at any time.
Along with the beginning of the summer tourist season, the strengthening of the supervision of the properties rented out privately to tourists from landlords and owners, as well as other types of hospitality facilities, is on the cards. State inspectors will be out in full force this season, and they will, among carrying out numerous other tasks, “comb” through potential unregistered listings and punish Croatia’s many illegal renters.
This ”action” will be assisted by the central eVisitor information system that applies to all categorised facilities, and uncategorised apartments and houses will also be searched out on booking and reservation platforms such as Booking.com and Airbnb, as has been confirmed by the state inspectorate.
There are numerous types of categorisation in place for private accommodation, and each and every facility that rents its space to tourists must be correctly registered on Croatia’s eVisitor system in order for those guests to be registered with the police and/or tourist office upon their arrival (although this is something many choose not to adhere to, and which, in all honesty, isn’t enforced well), and more importantly, for the host to be able to pay the correct taxes. In addition, a tax number must be highlighted for such tourist services carried out within the European Union.
A total of 136 jobs have been systemised ready for these types of inspection during the tourist season, and, together with the employees of the Customs Administration of the Croatian Ministry of Finance, a total of 97 jobs for tourist inspectors to carry out the work have now been filled.
At the moment, 52 inspectors are working to cover Croatia’s coast, where the majority of illegal renting takes place, through offices in Rijeka and Split, as well as sixteen other associated offices. In addition to that, during the very height of the tourist season, inspectors from Croatia’s continental counties will also be there to help out their coastal colleages. They all have access to the eVisitor system, which will help them to detect illegal renters.
The mechanism for locating Croatia’s illegal renters is very simple, if the accommodation advertised on online platforms such as those listed above is not registered on eVisitor, this acts as a sign to inspectors that they can take the appropriate action. It has since been found out from private renters that nobody is asking for categorisation certification on those platforms anymore.
Booking.com and Expedia were asking for categorisation certification until the powerful Airbnb entered the Croatian market just a few years ago. Anamarija Cicarelli, head of the Split family accommodation advice centre, says most rental platforms have lost their legitimacy because they simply go off trusting the advertiser without any actual evidence.
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