One in three Britons booked stay from individuals, Eurostat says


By Stelios Orphanides

THE share of European Union citizens who booked accommodation and transport services online via ‘any website or an app’ from another private individual in the past 12 months was 17 per cent and eight per cent respectively, the European Commission’s statistical office said.

Travellers from the UK, Cyprus’ largest source of incoming tourism, were the keenest EU citizens to opt for a ‘peer-to-peer’ booking for their accommodation and transport via any website or an app, Eurostat said in a statement on its website. The share of UK citizens who did so was 34 per cent and 27 per cent respectively in the past 12 months.

The Luxembourgians and Irish were second and third most-likely to book their accommodation online from other individuals with 22 per cent and 21 per cent respectively, it said. The share of Estonians and Irish who booked their travel service that way was 20 per cent and 17 per cent respectively which was again the second and third-highest.

The percentage of EU citizens and Britons who booked their accommodation via a dedicated website or app from other peers was in the past 12 months 14 per cent and 31 per cent respectively.

The share of those who also booked their travel arrangements via dedicated websites or apps was seven per cent and 24 per cent respectively.

The Cyprus Hotel Association, a business group which represents the largest number of Cypriot hotel owners and operators, said that its members are alarmed at the new trend, which includes services provided by Airbnb, Lovehomeswap, Bed&Fed, Homeaway, and Rooorama to name a few.

This is a threat which “entails risks and constitutes a form of unfair competition,” said Zacharias Ioannides, director general of the Cyprus Hotel Association.

“This is out of control, there are no controls or inspection of accommodation of this type in essential areas such as health and safety,” he said in a telephone interview.

“Major cities abroad have introduced legislation which provides registration,” he said and asked Cypriot authorities to do more to tackle the phenomenon as, unlike lawful hotel units, operators of this type of accommodation pay no taxes to the government or local authorities.

In addition, he said, the hotel industry invests in services and facilities not offered by this type of accommodation platform, he said.

The association has included ‘digital revolution and benchmarking’ on its agenda for its next annual general meeting on February 13, Ioannides added.

While the Eurostat data does not reveal how many travellers booked their accommodation in Cyprus or their transport to Cyprus from other individuals, it shows that Cypriots are in general far behind the trend.

The share of Cypriots who booked their accommodation from other individuals online was only four per cent in the past 12 months, the second lowest after the Czechs with one per cent.

And when it came to booking transportation, the percentage of those who used a website or app to do so was one per cent, the lowest in the EU.


About Author

Stelios Orphanides is a journalist at To contact Stelios Orphanides: [email protected]

  • cyprus observer

    CTO take note!
    This makes me laugh…”This is a threat which “entails risks and constitutes a form of unfair competition,” said Zacharias Ioannides, director general of the Cyprus Hotel Association.

    Get used to it…it’s how the world works nowadays. Have you never heard of Airbnb?

    Not everybody wants to go on a holiday booked by a travel agent and then go to some awful hotel in Kato Paphos with indifferent staff. People want to create their own experiences. ADAPT!

    • almostbroke

      The hoteliers want a monopoly like the taxis . The overriding mantra ‘maximum profit for minimum input !

      • “Stand & Deliver !”

        • almostbroke

          ‘Dick Turpin ‘ without the mask !

  • Kevin Ingham

    Welcome to the real world of modern tourism – learn to live with it

  • Hudswell

    So introduce legislation that allows individuals to register a single property with the CTO, properly registered and subject to inspection. Win win….for for the CTO who would presumably receive registration fees, the Government with a tax income, the individual for legally being permitted to rent the property…the local economy who would benefit from tourists eating out and using local establishments rather than being locked into All Inclusive hotels. Ah I see a problem….the hotels would have to actually improve their product and prices to compete…

    • cyprus observer

      This would work in a normal country where there is efficiency in dealing with the public sector….however, in Cyprus, it just would not work. People want things done today…..not to have to wait 3 months for a response to a letter.

    • cyprus observer

      Why is it not legal to rent ones own property in the first place. I do it and I report all my income using the airbnb site direct on to my tax return. Why do people always think that those who offer this service do it without declaring income? I don’t have to “register” with anyone in the country where I live……why does one have to register with the CTO?

      • Hudswell

        In Cyprus it is illegal to rent “Short Term” holiday lets unless they are registered with the CTO…the problem is that you have to have at least 5 properties to rent…there is no registration process to register an individual property as a holiday let.

        • cyprus observer

          What a stupid law….is it ever enforced?

        • Bob Ellis

          The Cyprus law on short term rentals is at odds with EU law, although most of the laws here are at odds and nobody does anything about it.

  • Luxembourgians, unfair competition.

  • Banjo

    Once Britain leaves the EU , Cyprus will have virtually zero EU tourists. Anyway , it’s better that tourists hire private houses rather than all inclusive hotels .

  • Bob Ellis

    This is a threat which “entails risks and constitutes a form of unfair
    competition,” said Zacharias Ioannides, director general of the Cyprus Hotel Association.

    No, it’s called competition you muppet. How do idiots like this get to such lofty positions? Family or bribes; certainly not intelligence or capability.

    • Mike

      I understand your sentiment but generally competition is governed by equal sets of standards. If one doesn’t have the costs or need to comply with regulation then it may be considered unfair competition. If we allow Hotels not to comply with regulation and ignore guests health and safety then perhaps it may be considered equal. I think we have to first justify our regulations, ensure they are fit for purpose then vigorously police what we agree are minimum standards for tourists.

      • Bob Ellis

        Regulations adhered to in Cyprus. Lol.

  • Neroli

    CHA is sounding more and more like the whining taxi drivers!

    • Mike

      As I understand it the law states that to rent into the tourist sector a license is required to ensure safety and compliance with legal requirements that obviously apply equally to hotels, registered apartments and Agrotourism properties. Gas supply lines, electricity, access and water supplies etc. need to be of an adequate standard to comply with EU standards of installation. Clearly many peer to peer suppliers do not bother with the formalities which is probably OK until someone dies of CO poisoning, is electrocuted or contracts a water borne disease. My belief is that we need to uprate our antiquated and protectionist views, recognise the current trend in tourists wishes and more importantly police any laws we happen to have. It will never happen as to clamp down and insist on compliance on peer to peer rental properties would probably kill off the Paphos property sales market which is driven by rental property purchases at the moment. Another case of laws passed without the will to police them therefore rendering them useless. No change there then.

  • Nigel Howarth

    Rather than winging and moaning about unfair competition the Cyprus Hotel Association needs to reengineer its offerings to meet the challenges of tourism in the 21st century.

    I recently tried to book a Christmas lunch at a Limassol hotel; what a fiasco! No on-line booking and when I called the hotel to book they asked for a 50 per cent deposit, which was fair enough. When I offered to pay over the phone with my credit card they would/could not accept it. They said I’d have to send them a signed facsimile of my card – ridiculous!

    Eventually I visited the hotel and paid the deposit at reception.

    How can Cyprus hotels expect to get any business if this is the way they operate!

    • almostbroke

      They very much operate the mantra of ‘take it or leave it ‘ sure if the numbers go down we will put up the price ( for tourists ) to maintain profit with minimal input !