Barcelona’s Generalitat has fined the holiday rental site Airbnb €30,000€ after detecting that the site displayed advertising for more than 11,000 ‘irregular’ properties that are not registered with the government as official tourist accommodation.
Launched in 2008, the site Airbnb is one of the most popular travel sites for holiday accommodation and short stays with listings in over 34,000 cities in 190 countries around the globe.
The website also offers rooms in private homes, which is illegal under Catalan legislation. According to various sources, the government of Cataluñya is also considering blocking access to the site, should Airbnb not remove the ‘illegal’ property listings from their site.
Airbnb has warned that the fine imposed by the government will only slow down Barcelona’s tourism, with the city currently in the top three most popular cities on the site, only after New York and Paris.
In February, Airbnb announced that it had contributed 128 million Euros towards Barcelona’s economy, as well as boosted employment with over 4,000 jobs.