Access to Data

A central problem of the digital economy from the point of view of regions, cities and municipalities is the often lacking access to data. In principle, data play a key role in being able to act effectively and administratively efficient in terms of the use of public resources. Without a suitable data basis, the mandates defined in laws by legislative bodies to regulate markets cannot be implemented, which means that laws are not enforceable. Data should be used by the competent authorities (or legally entrusted supervisory bodies) exclusively for the procurement of legal orders but must be made available by platforms via clearly defined electronic interfaces and in corresponding data quality.In view of the agreement the European Commission reached with four large booking platforms (Airbnb, Booking, Expedia and Tripadvisor) on the access of data for the aggregation and processing via EUROSTAT, it needs to be addressed that the kind of aggregated data agreed upon is insufficient for law enforcement on European and national level.

Generally speaking, aggregated data are collective data, i.e. in the tourism segment the total number of overnight stays or the number of guests in a certain period for a defined location. Aggregated data can be used to map market developments, for example. Without individual data, the following legal regulations, among others, that are valid in the EU cannot be implemented or can only be implemented inadequately: Regulations in the area of taxes and duties (local municipal tax), regulations in the area of tourism statistics, regulations in the area of building regulation, regulations in the area of regional planning, regulations in the area of registration, regulations in the area of the standardized omission of short-term rental in social housing.

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