Matt Kiessling: Florida needs commonsense short-term rental policies – Florida Politics (blog)
In an effort to stifle competition from short-term rentals and maintain their ability to price gouge consumers during compression periods, the hotel lobby is pressuring government officials in states like Florida to implement regulations that would severely restrict or ban homeowners from welcoming visitors into their private residence.
A recent piece penned by the hotel lobby on Florida Politics cites AirbnbWATCH Florida as a coalition of “Florida residents and commercial lodging businesses of all sizes” – “focused on the need for solutions that protect Florida’s careful balance as a tourism leader and ideal place to call home.”
In truth, it’s been well reported that AirbnbWATCH is actually a hotel funded front group designed to shut down short-term rentals, not the “coalition” claimed in the article.
Short-term rentals have been available across the nation for decades, but have become more popular as technology has helped make them more accessible and affordable. Technology innovators have helped to create a vibrant marketplace for travelers and property owners, expanding the travel landscape by making it easier for travelers to find and book short-term rental accommodations and providing economic benefits to communities around the world.
It is important for public policy to reflect the changing travel dynamics brought on by the popularity of short-term rentals, allowing both travelers and residents the ability to benefit from the options and flexibility that short-term rentals provide. Destructive short-term rental regulations being pushed by the hotel lobby can have the unintended consequence of limiting those benefits for both the residents and economy in Florida.
Short-term rental innovators such as Expedia’s HomeAway and VRBO platforms, Airbnb, TripAdvisor and Booking.com, are transforming the way millions around the globe travel. Not only do short-term rentals provide travelers with authentic experiences, but owners, operators and hosts act as