The province’s Bed and Breakfast Association has written an open letter to Tourism Minister Christopher Mitchelmore regarding what it calls the “shadow economy of unlicensed accommodations and short-term rental market.”
The letter, written on behalf of the province’s nearly 200 licensed small accommodation operators, is an “urgent plea” for the province to take action on what they consider to be a crisis in their industry.
They accuse government of abdicating its role and responsibilities in not ensuring minimum standards in tourist establishments and in governing licenses required to operate.
The letter, drafted by Wayne Hallett, says both government and tourism advocacy groups have ignored their plight while reducing their ability to advertise locally through roadside signs and increasing regulatory costs and insurance.
It claims that sites like Airbnb, and others enable commercial businesses to operate under the guise of home-sharing as “ghost hotels”.
Hallett says government authorities in Canada and internationally have recognized the problems and damage the so-called shadow industry has caused and created, and they’re calling for immediate action to enforce operating license requirements and shut down unlicensed business operations.