Airbnb in Amsterdam tourist tax deal, first in Europe

Airbnb and Amsterdam said on Thursday they had reached a deal for the online lodging site to collect tourist tax on behalf of the city, the first such agreement in Europe. -- PHOTO: BLOOMBERG
Airbnb and Amsterdam said on Thursday they had reached a deal for the online lodging site to collect tourist tax on behalf of the city, the first such agreement in Europe. -- PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

THE HAGUE (AFP) - Airbnb and Amsterdam said on Thursday they had reached a deal for the online lodging site to collect tourist tax on behalf of the city, the first such agreement in Europe.

The deal will "simplify the payment of tourist tax by collecting and remitting these taxes on behalf of hosts," the company said in a statement.

The agreement follows criticism from Amsterdam hotel owners that Airbnb users, who can book over 10,000 private citizens' rooms and apartments in the Dutch capital via the website, did not pay the tax.

"We are glad Amsterdam has enacted progressive rules that allow people to share their homes with respectful guests who want to experience new communities and live like locals," said Airbnb co-founder Nathan Blecharczyk.

Airbnb said in November that it was mulling charging users a visitor's tax on behalf of Montreal in Canada, which, like Amsterdam, is one of the company's 10 most visited cities.

Airbnb will start charging Amsterdam taxes on February 1, the company and the city said.

San Francisco-based Airbnb says it offers places to stay in 34,000 cities in 190 countries.