Although the implementation of Bill 25 to combat illegal tourist accommodations seems to be leading to a sharp increase in the number of applications for registration with the Corporation de l'industrie touristique du Québec (CITQ), while the summer season is in full swing, waiting times for permit applicants remain within the norms.
The Quebec Ministry of Tourism has confirmed this, a month after new legislation was implemented to increase regulation on Airbnb and other similar short-term rental platforms.
Based on information gathered from CITQ, the timeframes for registering a tourist accommodation establishment through a "standard file" have remained largely unchanged from before the law's implementation aimed at preventing illegal tourist accommodations, even though there has been a significant rise in registration applications.
Between June 7 and July 7, 2023, the CITQ received 725 applications for short-term accommodation registration across the province. This is a significant increase from the 455 applications received during the same period in 2022, the Ministry of Tourism reported.
Last month, Bill 25 was approved with multiple provisions. Effective June 7, operators of transactional digital accommodation platforms, such as Airbnb, are not allowed to publish tourist accommodation offers if they do not include the registration number of the relevant establishment. Those who violate this new law may face fines ranging from $20,000 to $100,000. The Ministry of Tourism is preparing for a possible increase in demand for registration due to the new regulations.
The hotel industry welcomed the swift passing of Bill 25 before the summer. The Association Hôtellerie du Québec (AHQ), representing all registered hotels, motels, bed and breakfasts, youth hostels, and tourist residences in the province, reports that over 95% of its hotel members supported Bill 25 amendments.
While June data is unavailable, the hotel industry is experiencing a "fairly positive" start to the summer season in Quebec, according to the AHQ.
According to the association, events in popular cities like Quebec City and Montreal lead to increased bookings for accommodations. Quebec residents still travel within the province, and international tourists are returning this summer. The association also mentioned last-minute bookings. However, recent wildfires have caused closures, event cancellations, and impacted bookings in affected regions.