Hotel Workers Request for Airbnb Ban Fails to Find an Audience

Hotel workers asked for a ban on all short-term rentals Tuesday, March 16th when the Long Beach Recovery Plan was presented to City Council. The $235 million plan allocates funds to boost the economy and maintain community health and safety post-Covid.  The plan includes $2 million to business improvement districts and $1.25 million for tourism.

Doubletree and Hyatt’s workers queued up to describe how Covid cost them their jobs and “Airbnb continues to threaten their employment.”  “Unregulated hotels have undermined the TOT, undermined the housing stock, and undermined the hotel industry and jobs,” was entered into the public comment.

Short Term Rental Operators know these claims are false:

  • Long Beach has an ordinance regulating short-term rentals.  They are not illegal.
  • Home sharers and vacation rentals combined paid $5 million in TOT since April 2019.  
  • STRs represent less than 1% of housing stock, say the city’s own consultants.  
  • Short Term Rentals serve a different market than hotel stays.  

The Hotel worker push to ban Airbnb received coverage from the Press Telegram and dovetailed with a piece on the future of Long Beach tourism and hospitality by the Convention & Visitors Bureau this week.

Home sharing and vacation rentals are a smaller but just as vital piece of community and neighborhood recovery since hosts have suffered dramatic losses too during the pandemic. Bottom line, hotel workers’ concerns are on the record, but the plan passed without changes and the ordinance was not touched.

Chesky Talks Travel Trends in NY Times Podcast
The pandemic decimated the travel industry and by May 2020, Airbnb had to lay off one-quarter of its staff.  After an 80% drop in business in 2020, Airbnb experienced a summer rebound.  The company came out on top with the launch of its IPO in December 2020, with a valuation of over $100 billion — more than Expedia and Marriot combined.  The capital attack on January 6, 2021, caused another dilemma for the company when Airbnb canceled all DC reservations in a commitment to ban hate group stays.  Mikki shares a March 18th podcast from Sway, from the New York Times Kara Swisher on what’s next in travel from Brian Chesky. 

Huntington Beach Hosts Hate Neighbor Noticing Requirement
Huntington STR hosts are asking the city to return to the drawing board on their ordinance due to a requirement to notify all neighbors with a 500-ft radius.

SB555 McGuire Passes Finance Committee
California Senate Bill SB555 took another step toward passage on March 17th, when the Senate Governance and Finance Committee unanimously voted to establish a statewide system to collect and distribute Transient Occupancy Taxes (TOT) revenue from short-term rental hosting platforms to cities and counties.  The bill allows cities and counties to opt in to receive TOT revenues through the state that were collected in their jurisdiction if no voluntary collection agreement (VCA) is in place. In Long Beach, the city has an agreement with Airbnb, not none yet with VRBO, and TripAdvisor.  

Could Swag Hospitality Help You?

Get Paid For Your Pad Founder, Jasper Ribbers, last week I mentioned that he’s extremely bullish on short-term rentals in 2021 and beyond.

And today this is being confirmed by several articles in the media.

“Airbnb and VRBO are overloaded with reservations,” reads the headline of one article.

Another one states that “Airbnb now has more listings than before the pandemic.”

And according to the president of VRBO, the company is off to its best start of the year in a quarter-century. (!!!)

At the same time, a lot of Side-Hustle hosts have left our industry.

If you are one of those who have stopped hosting for some reason but really enjoyed the income from having a Short-Term Rental, we would love to help you.

Swag Hospitality is a turn-key service for homeowners who would like to experience all the positives and none of the negatives of the short-term rental business.  We will handle all the details from start to finish and send you a check at the end of each month!