Airbnb’s Unregulated Commercial Activity
by Vanessa Sinders, Lodging Magazine
More than seven months have passed since Airbnb issued its “community compact,” in which the company claimed it would do everything it could to “help ensure our community pays its fair share of hotel and tourist taxes, build an open and transparent community, and promote responsible home sharing to make cities stronger.” Unfortunately, those objectives have yet to bear fruit. In reality, a significant—and rapidly growing—portion of Airbnb’s revenue in major U.S. cities is driven by commercial operators who often buy up multiple residential properties to rent out in the same metropolitan area or list units available on a full-time basis, just like a hotel. What’s worse, Airbnb is not being transparent with its data and or acting as the true partner it has vowed to be with government officials to help create safe environments for its users and the communities in which it operates.