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They are preparing changes to the self-catering accommodation law

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The changes to the self-service accommodation law, within the framework of the Law on the Regulation of the Establishment and Operation of Hotels and Tourist Accommodations, were discussed today, Tuesday, by the members of the Parliamentary Committee on Energy, Trade, Industry and Tourism.

The meeting was attended, among others, by representatives of the Deputy Ministry of Tourism, the Department of Urban Planning and Housing and the Department of Cadastre and Land Surveying of the Ministry of the Interior, the Legal Service of the Republic, the Mayor of Ayia Napa, representatives of the Cyprus Electricity Authority, the Union of Cyprus Communities, of the Association of Self-Service Tourist Accommodations and the Pancypriot Association of Hoteliers (PASYXE).

The President of the Committee and DISY Member of Parliament, Kyriakos Hatzigiannis, stated that wherever there is responsibility and political will, timeless problems of society and the economy are solved. This, he added, happened today at the Commerce Commission, where for self-catering accommodation, of which there are tens of thousands, “we have taken a significant step forward to register them on the register of self-catering accommodation, fully ensuring the needs of managing potential risks as well as cutting through any unnecessary bureaucracy requirement”.

He noted that a transition period was given, where and where needed, “purely targeted and not blindly so that when and if the local plans are announced they can submit their final planning permission and in that way we can solve this huge problem of self-catering accommodation ». The transitional period, he said, for that category of accommodation that is affected is until the end of 2024.

He stated that this is done so that all of them can be registered in the register and be able to practice the tourist service through e-commerce or through online platforms.

Referring to the criteria that will show that an accommodation is self-serviced, Mr. Hatzigiannis said that “a single electricity meter is enough and the criterion of self-service will be determined and controlled by the local authority itself with a certificate that will be presented to the Deputy Ministry of Tourism”.

He added that at the next session of the Commission the text will be submitted for final approval and then to the Plenary for voting.

Mr. Hatzigiannis said that he will submit a proposal for a law according to which the overnight stay fee will no longer be collected by local authorities in the current way, but the payment invoice to the hotel or accommodation will also include the overnight stay fee and therefore, with this mechanism, local authorities will be able to collect overnight charges.

The Member of Parliament of AKEL, Kostas Kostas, stated that after a long and constructive discussion that took place, we managed to come to a proposal of law with which the affected parties, the competent Deputy Ministry, the Commission as a whole agree in order to close gaps in the legislation, to remove distortions and solve problems that became apparent after the implementation of the legislation about fifteen days ago.

He pointed out that it is very important that a temporary solution has been found for some accommodations that currently cannot be licensed because local plans are about to change, as for example in the Ayia Napa area. He also mentioned that it is equally important that a solution was also found to the licensing issue for buildings that have more than one self-catering accommodation and needed each accommodation to have its own electricity meter from the EAC. “We express our satisfaction, as a party, because with this proposal we will manage to overcome the problems”, said Mr. Costas.

He also reminded that the reason the bill was passed three years ago was to remove illegality, to stop tax evasion, and to control health and safety issues. He pointed out that the criteria should be simple so that no one is left out of licensing.

The EDEK Member of Parliament, Ilias Myrianthous, said for his part that in the implementation of the accommodation legislation, the interested parties who were not registered in the register of the Deputy Ministry of Tourism, they will have to present the various supporting documents so that they can be licensed. Some proposals have been made, he added, to make the procedures more flexible and at the same time to give time to those facing issues regarding the change of use of their properties to be able to make the applications and the necessary arrangements.< /p>

He added that it is the responsibility of the Deputy Ministry to observe the faithful implementation of the legislation and at the same time each local authority to see whether these premises, which are licensed, fully meet the conditions and regulations.

Source: www.reporter.com.cy

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