The first wave of Airbnb listings to be authorised in Ireland were issued in June, but the government says the process is still in its infancy.

The Irish government is encouraging people to book accommodation through Airbnb and is seeking advice on the viability of this model from the industry.

There are currently only about 3,000 Airbnb rentals in Ireland, with only about 20 per cent of them being used by tourists.

This is despite Airbnb’s claim that they have a 40 per cent occupancy rate.

The number of new Airbnb listings is expected to reach 100,000 by 2021.

Airbnb Ireland said the government should “take the lead in ensuring this important new sector is established properly and efficiently”.

The Irish Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) said it was “committed to fostering the creation of a new generation of entrepreneurs”.

The Department of Tourism, Tourism Ireland, the Irish Government’s tourism agency, said the new industry “should be able to flourish and contribute positively to the economic health of the country”.

A spokesperson said: “Dublin is a world-class city, with a vibrant cultural and tourist hub, the world’s largest indoor-outdoor concert arena, a world class airport, a number of world-leading tourism destinations and a vibrant, diverse tourism ecosystem.”

The spokesperson added: “The growth of the Airbnb platform has been an important catalyst for this transformation, and we look forward to the introduction of a number new services for tourists and locals alike, including the launch of a mobile app to facilitate booking of Airbnb accommodation.”

Airbnb Ireland is currently seeking advice from industry experts on how to set up a business, including how to ensure the new model is legal.

The spokesperson said that while the company would work with the government “to ensure the system is fully compliant with existing legislation”, it would not “provide guidance on the legality of the new service”.

In February, the European Commission launched an investigation into whether the internet service provider “provides a service that violates EU law”.

The investigation was launched after the Commission found that the company did not comply with a number EU rules relating to the protection of consumers.

The Commission’s director general, Christos Stylianides, said in a statement: “It is unacceptable that companies that offer services like Airbnb cannot be held responsible for the way they operate.

Airbnb should not be trusted with the responsibility of protecting consumers in Europe.”