Mass Tourism is becoming a problem in Lisbon
Many cities in the world have suffered mass tourism generated by Short-Term-rentals. Now this plague has hit Lisbon, changing historical parts of town from authentic local neighbourhoods into Tourist Fairground pretending to house real Lisboetas. Visit Alfama off season and you’ll find a completely abandoned neighbourhood – as Euronews describes in its coverage yesterday.
We are a part of the tourism industry. But we strongly object to forcing people out of their houses because of rental increase caused by greedy investors transforming private housing to short-term-rentals.
If we were only in it for the money, creating Tings Lisbon would the most stupid thing to do. In that case we should just do the same as everybody else: Buy a house, renovate it and rent out the flats as Air BnB’s until the real estate market peaks, then sell and cash in. Or – if we didn’t have the funds to buy – just offer house owners much higher rent that what they get from their existing tenants.
Not only would the profit have been much higher – we would also avoid the hell we have been through starting up a hotel business with all the rules and bureaucracy. And instead of having the trouble starting up a restaurant, we could instead rent out the space to one of the established chefs who wants an outlet in Graça. And wouldn’t have to hire staff.
But not only are we personally against this greed. We’re also idealists who feel that we have to pay something back for our privileged life. So we engage people in the jobs we create, shop as locally as possible, let creatives use our premises for their art, workshops, talks etc free of charge. And promote Portugues culture: like in Annette’s designs, in the music we play (we love the Urban Sound of Lisbon), in our blogging and wherever we can get away with it.
Thats why we prefer Tings to a money machine that destroys cultures.
But, we don’t blame people who picks all these low hanging fruits – and cash them in for fast Euros. We blame the rules and regulations that allows it. And especially the rules and regulations that make it almost impossible to start up a hotel with real jobs that are so important to Portugal. It’s almost as if the rules and bureaucracy want us to sell and cash in the real estate profit ..
And then we just don’t understand why people who fall i love with a place ends up destroying it. That has happened in Berlin, Barcelona, Copenhagen and a lot of other cities… and now Lisbon.
The dark side of tourism: Lisbon’s ‘terramotourism’
‘We have seen a transformation of housing from residences for families to short-term rentals…private houses rented out for tourism that, in some areas, caused rent price to rise by 30-40 % over the last few years, which is practically unbearable for local Portuguese people.’
Airbnb rentals have been on the rise, seeing a hike of 67% rental growth in the last year.
At least 73% of the Airbnb properties on offer in Lisbon are entire apartments with an average daily rate of 84€, therefore guaranteeing more profitability than traditional, long-term rental solutions.
Read and watch Euronews feature on Lisbon Tourism from yesterday here