The Legislative Yuan today announced that it passed what is deemed the “Airbnb Clause” to Article 55 of the Tourism Bureau’s Act for the Development of Tourism. The amendment in effect prohibits residents from renting out apartments or rooms without a license, thus protecting Taiwan’s hotel industry.
The amendment to the article stipulates that services such as Airbnb that rent out rooms in private homes at a daily rate are illegal and are subject to fines of NT$30,000 to NT$300,000 (US$990-9,897). The regulation also applies to people who use social media such as Facebook to advertise similar services.
The Tourism Bureau noted that is not easy to identify those who are illegally renting rooms in Taiwan as evidence can be difficult to obtain, Apple Daily reported.
The Legislative Yuan also strengthened its regulations governing hotels and tourist services. Operating without a license was previously an offense that could net a fine of NT$90,000 to NT$450,000, but the fines have been raised to NT$100,000 for the first offense and NT$500,000 for subsequent offenses.
Unauthorized expansion of hotels is now punishable by a NT$50,000 fine for the first offense and NT$250,000 for subsequent offenses. The same regulation applies to bed & breakfasts, though the fines are NT$30,000 and NT$150,000, respectively. However, authorities may force hotels to close for violating the law.
The Tourism Bureau also added regulations to improve safety in response to tour bus accidents over the last year. Penalties have been increased from NT$30,000 to NT$50,000 for the use of illegal vehicles for tourism purposes. The lack of or inhibiting the use of an emergency exit will net a fine of NT$10,000 to NT$50,000, while not maintaining inspection records for tour buses will net a fine of NT$10,000 to NT$30,000.