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Morocco Takes Aim at Airbnb and Booking.com

  • Officials plan taxes on Airbnb users, standards compliance
  • Online travel bookings, rentals have hit country’s hotels
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Photographer: Ursula Drake

Moroccan officials have placed Airbnb and Booking.com in their cross-hairs, looking to level the playing field for traditional hotels as a “new reality” forces Africa’s biggest tourism destination to re-evaluate efforts to drum up business.

Vacation rentals offered on online portal Airbnb Inc. will be subject to tax beginning in 2019, bridging a legal void that has hurt the more than 3,800 hotels and hundreds of travel agencies operating in the country, said Mehdi Taleb, head of regulation, development and quality at Morocco’s Tourism, Air Transport and Social Economy Ministry. Tax officials will work with undercover hotel inspectors and interior ministry informants to ensure enforcement.