Minbak

A minbak refers to a lodging establishment that uses a residential house rather than a conventional lodging property, encompassing ‘rural minbak’ under the ‘Agricultural and Fishing Villages Improvement Act’ and ‘urban minbak’ under the ‘Tourism Promotion Act.’ Additionally, minbak includes those designated as ‘tourist pensions’ pursuant to the Tourism Promotion Act or additionally registered as ‘shared lodging businesses’ pursuant to the ‘Business Code – 10th Korean Standard Industrial Classification Linked Table.’
Dictionary Definition
Minbak means staying in a regular household rather than a professional lodging establishment while traveling, or such a house itself. It usually refers to paying a certain amount of money to stay and cook in a household in a rural area during vacation seasons.
Statutory Definition
The minbak business involves providing lodging services using general residential houses, such as single-family houses, multi-family houses, row houses, and apartments. It also includes providing cooking facilities or meals along with lodging.
Lobin Commentary

A minbak refers to a type of lodging establishment that uses residential houses rather than lodging properties. In Korea, it is a general term that includes both rural minbak and urban minbak. However, operating a lodging business using houses is neither a new phenomenon nor unique to Korea.

As early as the 1st century BC, ‘hospitia’ were lodging establishments that rented out spare rooms in houses along the roads of ancient Rome to travelers. This means that the earliest form of the lodging establishment was minbak. As the number of guests increased, hospitia evolved into ‘caupona,’ dedicated lodging establishments that provided meals to guests.

In Europe, lodging businesses using residential houses are widespread, forming the largest minbak market globally. However, the form and names of the facilities vary significantly by country. Various types of buildings classified as residential houses, such as holiday villas, cottages, rental apartments, condominiums, townhomes, and single-family homes, are used. The most widely used term to collectively refer to these in the US is ‘vacation rental,’ while ‘holiday villa’ is used in the UK and ‘gite’ in France. Renting by the week is common, but there are also daily rentals similar to hotels.

In Japan, the ‘Minpaku Law ,’ implemented in 2017, regulates lodging businesses using residential houses. The Minpaku Law was enacted to promote healthy minbak services by providing guidelines for safety and hygiene management, noise and waste disposal, and resolving disputes with nearby residents in response to the rapid increase in minbak. According to the Minpaku Law, minbak businesses are those where non-licensed individuals allow people to stay in their houses for a fee, with a restriction that the total number of lodging days should not exceed 180 days per year. The Minpaku Law mainly outlines the obligations of minbak operators, minbak management companies, and minbak intermediaries.

  1. Minbak Operators: If the operator resides in the house, they are directly responsible for ensuring hygiene, explaining noise prevention to guests, responding to complaints from nearby residents, maintaining a guest ledger, and posting signs. If the operator does not reside in the house, these responsibilities must be entrusted to a registered minbak management company.
  2. Minbak Management Companies: Companies registered with the Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism to manage minbak on behalf of operators must carry out responsibilities such as ensuring hygiene, explaining noise prevention to guests, responding to complaints from nearby residents, maintaining a guest ledger, and posting signs.
  3. Minbak Intermediaries: To engage in booking and other intermediary services for minbak, one must be registered with the Japan Tourism Agency. They must also fulfill responsibilities such as explaining contract details to guests.
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Data Source

  • GDP: GDP, Current $US (World Bank Open Data)
  • Establishments: Compendium of Tourism Statistics (UNWTO), Lodging Business Ledger (MOIS)
  • Rooms: Compendium of Tourism Statistics (UNWTO), Lodging Business Ledger (MOIS)
  • Lodging GDP: Value Added by Industry (BEA), National Accounts (Cabinet Office), GDP of Indonesia (BPS), GDP & GNI by Sector (BOK), Economic Census (KOSIS)
  • Period: 2017-2021

※ In Korea, general & residential accommodations are included while rural & urban minbaks are excluded. Comparable countries are selected based upon availability of lodging GDP statistics for all types of accommodations.

Data Source

  • Population: Population, Total (World Bank Open Data)
  • GDP: GDP, Current $US (World Bank Open Data)
  • Rooms: Compendium of Tourism Statistics (UNWTO), Lodging Business Ledger (MOIS)
  • Lodging GDP: Value Added by Industry (BEA), National Accounts (Cabinet Office), GDP of Indonesia (BPS), GDP & GNI by Sector (BOK), Economic Census (KOSIS)
  • Period: 2017-2021

※ In Korea, general & residential accommodations are included while rural & urban minbaks are excluded. Comparable countries are selected based upon availability of lodging GDP statistics for all types of accommodations.

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Data Source

  • Korea: Lodging Business Ledger (MOIS), Tourist Accommodation Ledger (MCST)
  • USA: Census Database (STR)
  • Period: As at the end of 2021

※ General & residential accommodations other than rural and urban minbaks asre included for Korea. Life cycle was calculated as of December 31, 2021 or actual closure date. If there exists a discrepancy between data sources for an establishment, the discrepancy was settled through an algorithm before use.

Data Source

  • Korea: Lodging Business Ledger (MOIS), Tourist Accommodation Ledger (MCST), Economic Census (KOSIS), Hotel Operating Statistics (KHA), DART (FSS), Trends Report (STR)
  • USA: Compendium of Tourism Statistics (UNWTO), Census Database (STR), Trends Report (STR)
  • Period: 2005-2021

※ General & residential accommodations other than rural and urban minbaks asre included for Korea. Visibility was calculated as the number of establishments for which revenue data is available divided by the total number of establishments. If there exists a discrepancy between data sources for an establishment, the discrepancy was settled through an algorithm before use.

Data Source

  • Guests(Korea): Domestic Traveler Survey (MCST), International Traveler Survey (MCST), Hotel Operating Statistics (KHA)
  • Rooms(Korea): Lodging Business Ledger (MOIS), Tourist Accommodation Ledger (MCST)
  • Guests(USA): Compendium of Tourism Statistics (UNWTO), Trends Report (STR)
  • Rooms(USA): Compendium of Tourism Statistics (UNWTO), Census Database (STR)
  • Period: 2005-2020

※ General & residential accommodations other than rural and urban minbaks asre included for Korea. If there exists a discrepancy between data sources for an establishment, the discrepancy was settled through an algorithm before use.