Looking for a place to stay in? Check it with the eKON app

26 March 2021

Looking for a place to stay in? Check it with the eKON app

 

Kraków is the first city in Poland to offer a modern tool for keeping the records of non-hotel lodging facilities, such as hostels, apartments, and guest rooms. The municipal app, called Krakowskie Obiekty Noclegowe (eKON), is now available in two language versions (Polish and English) at ekon.um.krakow.pl From now on, you will be able to check whether the facility you plan to stay in is available in the municipal register, and, as a consequence, whether it is operating legally.

What does the app offer?

Krakowskie Obiekty Noclegowe (eKON) is a web application, which means that you can access the data it stores via any web browser, for example Firefox or Chrome. The application runs on all operating systems featuring a web browser.

The application functions primarily as a lodging facility search engine with an extensive filtering feature (e.g. by district, street, type or number of beds). As a consequence, it serves as an information platform for both people looking for accommodation and for private entrepreneurs running short-term tourist rentals, while for students and researchers it constitutes a valuable source of statistics. Moreover, the application provides a wealth of practical information and a list of legal provisions connected with lodging facilities.

Why was the app developed?

In line with the current law, local governments are obliged to keep a register of “non-categorized” facilities providing hotel services, i.e. facilities other than hotels, motels, boarding houses, guarded and unguarded camping sites, and other forms of lodging listed under the Hotel Services, Tour Guide Services and Tour Guides Act of 29 August 1997). To ensure the city’s accommodation services meet the highest possible standards – including in terms of  technology – Kraków has developed a modern, interactive tool that will facilitate monitoring of the local accommodation services market, and ultimately help “organize” short-term tourist rentals in the city and make sure they are run in a legal manner.

The above benefits are not the only advantage that Kraków will gain from launching the new application –  by maintaining contact with owners and entrepreneurs offering accommodation services we can provide all guests visiting Kraków with important information. Calls for precisely such a tool have been made on numerous occasions by local business people, residents, students and tourists. Thanks to this app, you can easily and quickly ascertain whether you are staying in a registered facility - i.e. one that is operating legally.

This modern record system will help promote the city and have a positive impact on its image. The Tourism Department of Kraków Municipality hopes that every accommodation provider in Kraków will be interested in having their facility included in the eKON search engine.

How to register a facility?

Anyone who intends to provide accommodation services in a “non-categorized” facility (that is a facility other than a hotel, motel, boarding house, guarded and unguarded camping site, and other forms of lodging listed under the Hotel Services, Tour Guide Services and Tour Guides Act of 29 August 1997), is obliged to enter it in city mayor’s register. A registration application can be submitted either via the ePuap platform or in traditional paper form. The registered facility must meet applicable construction, sanitary and fire safety regulations.

Market monitoring brings benefits, including revenue for the city budget

For many years now, the Municipality of Kraków has worked intensively to reach the greatest possible number of providers of hotel services in facilities not included in the register. For this purpose, a special task force has been established, consisting of representatives from the Municipality Departments of  Tourism and Taxes and Fees – as well as the Poviat Sanitary and Epidemiological Station and the Municipal Police Headquarters. A broad-based information campaign in the media, public transport and urban space (e.g. citylights, leaflets in business registration offices) and constant monitoring of the short-term tourist rental market have already brought tangible results – it has become possible to reach many entities that provide accommodation services and inform them of the legal provisions regulating such activities and the formalities that must be completed. As a result, over the past two years the number of lodging facilities entered in the city register has doubled and city budget revenues from real property tax have jumped 140% to reach a total of PLN 2.68 million. In December 2020, 1,654 facilities with over 32,000 beds were listed in the register.

 

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