Paris Leads the World on Home Sharing

Today is an exciting day for the Airbnb community, as we announced that Paris is now the top destination in the world for home sharing.

More than 40,000 Parisians are now opening their homes to respectful guests from around the world. These are regular people who make a little extra cash by sharing their homes with guests who want to experience this truly amazing city by living like a local. There also more Parisians travelling on Airbnb than in any other in any other city in the world.

More than 90 per cent of hosts in Paris have only one listing and more than 70 per cent are outside of the main tourist areas. Not only is this helping regular Parisians to stay in their homes and afford living costs, it is spreading the economic benefits of tourism to the far corners of this great city and helping visitors discover communities beyond the regular tourist hotspots.

In recognition of Paris embracing innovation and hospitality, we are pleased to announce that this year’s Airbnb Open will be held in Paris – the first time it has been held outside of San Francisco, Airbnb’s home city.

The Open is a fantastic event where our global host community can gather in one place and share tips and stories about hosting, hear from hospitality experts and together help shape future innovations in hospitality and travel. Around 6,000 Airbnb hosts from cities across the world are expected to attend the Open, which will take place from November 12-14.

The announcements were made yesterday at the City Hall in Paris by Brian Chesky, the CEO and co-founder of Airbnb, and Bruno Julliard, the First Deputy Mayor of Paris. He welcomed the news, saying:

“We are delighted that they [Airbnb] are continuing to support innovation in Paris by bringing their annual host gathering. This demonstrates the attractiveness of the French capital and its capacity to welcome international innovators.”

You can read more about this here.

Paris is a great example of what can happen when governments embrace innovation and provide clear legal frameworks for home sharing. They are now the world leader for home sharing and we look forward to working closely with the City as we continue our discussions on how we can simplify the collection of tourist taxes for our community.

More and more cities across the world are embracing home sharing and seeing the benefits it brings to hosts, guests and cities. We are proud so many Parisians are enjoying the benefits of this unique travel experience.

 

It’s Fair to Share in the Music City!

Earlier this evening, the Nashville Metro City Council enacted clear, fair rules that make it easier for people to share their homes and their city with travelers from around the world. In enacting these new rules of the road, Music City joins the ranks of innovative cities across the world who are embracing the positive impacts of home sharing for neighborhoods and local businesses.

Tonight’s vote comes after months of discussion between policy makers, stakeholders, and the Nashville community – including Airbnb hosts. The new measure clarifies the law to authorize short-term rentals in Nashville, making it possible for hosts to share their home when they’re present and when they’re not. The law also creates a set of simple rules designed to help ensure that guests are safe, community concerns are addressed, and it recognizes the benefits that home sharing brings to the local community.

These new regulations will also help local hosts pay their bills and make ends meet, while providing more unique options for travelers to Nashville. Airbnb guests spend more time and money in the cities they visit than the typical hotel guest, while broadening the impact of tourism to more neighborhoods and small businesses. Nashville joins a quickly growing list of places like Amsterdam, Hamburg, San Francisco, France, and San Jose at the forefront of embracing progressive rules for home sharing.

The world is embracing the incredible benefits the sharing economy provides in empowering individuals and strengthening communities.  As more cities like Nashville choose to embrace the sharing economy, more cities will benefit from the social, financial and other impacts we know our community brings.

We look forward to continued progress in Nashville and other cities around the world to ensure the sharing economy continues to thrive.

New Poll: Singapore Supports Home Sharing

Last week, we shared news from Singapore, where the government has asked local residents for their views on home sharing. This is an exciting opportunity for our community to share their stories and explain how home sharing is helping them to stay in their homes, afford rising living costs and prepare for retirement.

Today, we’re highlighting new survey data that shows that Singapore residents believe they should be able to temporarily rent out their homes.

According to a new representative opinion poll of Singapore residents:

  • Overall, 72 percent believe that Singaporeans should be allowed to temporarily rent out their homes, and 74 per cent believe this should also apply to spare rooms within a home when the owner is present.

  • 68 percent believe that Airbnb is a good idea and 63 per cent believe it is bringing money to local communities who wouldn’t otherwise see it. 70 percent believe Airbnb creates a new and different type of tourism.

  • 52 per cent believe that helping people afford to stay in Singapore is a convincing reason to support short-term rentals.

The citywide survey was conducted by David Binder Research at Airbnb’s request from January 30 – February 2, 2015 with a representative sample of 600 Singapore voters. All respondents are residents of Singapore. The margin of error is 4%.

This poll also revealed that the top two concerns for residents of Singapore are rising living costs (28 per cent) and low wages (22 per cent). Our community knows that home sharing can be part of the solution to these issues. They’ve seen how by providing a unique travel experience to respectful guests from across the world, they can make a little extra money that helps them stay in their homes, afford rising living costs and prepare for retirement. This is creating a new and exciting form of tourism that supports local communities and business that haven’t previously benefitted from traditional tourism.

We are pleased that the government is seeking the views of local people on home sharing and that our community has a chance to share their stories. More and more cities are embracing home sharing and implementing progressive laws. We look forward to working with the government in Singapore on rules that make it a better place to live and visit.

London reveals new policy on home sharing

Today we are celebrating some good news from London, where the government has just released new details of their proposal to reform 1970s-era legislation about short term rentals in the capital.

More and more cities across the world are embracing home sharing and implementing progressive rules that back innovation and support local residents. San Francisco, San Jose, Paris and Amsterdam are among those that have already done so – and the list is growing.

The policy statement published today confirms that Londoners should be able to share their homes with guests from all over the world – just like residents in the rest of the UK. These reforms will help locals meet the cost of living in one of the most expensive cities in the world. It is good news for our hosts and it is good news for London – which now takes a lead in the global race to embrace the sharing economy.

We know that 40% of our London hosts on Airbnb are self-employed, freelancers or part-time workers, and 30% are entrepreneurs or starting their own businesses. They regularly tell us that the additional income they receive through hosting is helping them to take chances they wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford.

Economic research has also shown that home sharing is spreading the benefits of traditional tourism across the capital. Airbnb guests eat in local restaurants, shop in local businesses and stay in communities away from the tourism hotspots. They want to live like locals.

Housing Minister Brandon Lewis says he believes these proposals will be popular with Londoners. So do we.

Some recent milestones indicate how popular Airbnb has become – we now have more than one million homes listed on Airbnb and more than 30 million people have now travelled with Airbnb across the world. New Year’s Eve was also our biggest night ever, with more than 550,000 people ringing in 2015 by staying in the home of a local.

We want London to be an incredible place to live and to visit. These proposals will allow Londoners the freedom to make some extra cash and pursue new ventures, and will allow guests to benefit from unique accommodation in all corners of this amazing city.

Update from Singapore

We’ve had a lot of good news to share over the last few months. More and more destinations across the world are joining the likes of San Francisco, Amsterdam, Portland and France to implement progressive rules that support home sharing. These cities and countless others know that home sharing helps local residents stay in their homes and pay their bills while giving travelers new ways to explore neighborhoods and local businesses.

The latest update comes from Singapore, where the government is now seeking comment from the public on local rules for home sharing. We welcome this announcement and are excited that our community will have the opportunity to submit their views on how home sharing is improving the way they live, work and travel. Our community can comment here.

Home sharing is not a new phenomenon – it has been going on for thousands of years – but the internet and new technology have now made it easier for regular people to make a little extra income by occasionally sharing a spare room in their home or their entire place when they are out of town. Our hosts regularly tell us that this additional income helps them to stay in their homes and pay bills. Countless hosts also depend on home sharing to support them after they have retired.

We know that when a person simply shares the home in which they live – as most of our hosts across the world do – the experiences are overwhelmingly positive. The visitors they welcome are respectful of their surroundings and want to live like locals. They eat in local restaurants, coffee shops and hawker centers, support local businesses and explore communities that are away from the usual tourist hotspots. This is spreading the positive economic impact of tourism to communities that haven’t previously benefited from tourism.

Home sharing is also offering innovative solutions to some of the pressing challenges facing Singapore today, such as helping local residents to unlock value in their homes during retirement without them having to leave their homes or give up ownership. Airbnb hosts have also played an important role in helping destinations accommodate guests for thousands of big events worldwide, like the London Olympics, the World Cup in Brazil and the 2008 Democratic National convention. They would do so again during Formula 1 and big events like CommunicAsia and the Singapore Airshow.

We have seen how home sharing is having a positive impact on cities, and we are having great conversations with policy makers across the world. We are grateful for the opportunity for our hosts to tell their stories in Singapore, and look forward to working with the government on progressive rules that embrace innovation and sharing.

Working Together to Collect and Remit in Washington D.C. and Chicago, Illinois

One of the issues we have been working hard on here at Airbnb is the question of how we can best help our community understand — and in many cases help them pay — the kinds of taxes that might apply to renting out one’s own home. We have long provided income tax forms in the United States, for instance.

Over the last year, we have increasingly turned to helping hosts and guests pay tourism taxes as well. Sometimes called “hotel tax” or “transient occupancy tax,” it isn’t always clear which taxes apply and to whom in our community. But as we learn more, we want to help more.

Airbnb first began collecting tourist taxes from guests on behalf of our hosts in Portland, Oregon and San Francisco, California. So far, we’ve collected and sent more than $5 million to these governments. Since then we have worked to implement similar arrangements and will tomorrow begin collecting and remitting tourist taxes in Amsterdam and in San Jose, California. We are also continuing our productive discussions on a similar initiative in France.

This week, we wanted to share that on February 15, we will also begin collecting and remitting these taxes in Washington D.C. and Chicago, Illinois. If you’d like to learn more about how this process will work in those or other cities, please visit our Help Center.

We know that our community has already contributed substantial positive economic benefits in each of these communities, and this is just one more step in helping our hosts make their neighborhoods stronger.

This is a complicated challenge, but we want to continue working with officials around the globe to ensure that tax rules for home sharing are clear, fair, and easy to follow. We look forward to a continued dialogue on this issue with leaders around the world to ensure the sharing economy continues to thrive.

Good news from Milan

This blog regularly features updates from around the world about how cities are discussing, and increasingly embracing, the sharing economy.

Today, I’m happy to share some exciting news from Milan. Following a wide ranging public consultation, the City of Milan has committed to helping the sharing economy to thrive and become part of normal daily life for the Milanese people. Milan leaders know that the sharing economy is helping to make Milan a more open, friendly and supportive City to live in and visit.

We agree.

Later this year, Milan is expected to welcome more than 20 million visitors for Expo Milano 2015 where they will come together to tackle the problem of how to achieve sustainable progress in a world of diminishing resources. Our hosts are looking forward to welcoming these guests, sharing the true heart of this great City and spreading the economic benefits of traditional tourism to new businesses and communities beyond the regular tourist hotspots.

Airbnb has a long history of helping communities accommodate big events, including the London Olympics, the World Cup in Brazil and the 2008 Democratic National Convention. When traditional lodging options were at capacity, Airbnb hosts have opened their doors to help accommodate all visitors and provide them with authentic, local experiences.

We are delighted that Milan has become a pioneer of innovation and joined the growing list of destinations across the world that are helping local residents share their homes and the City they love with respectful guests from around the world. We now look forward to working with the City and its residents on how Milan can become a global leader in the sharing economy.

 

Buone notizie da Milano

Questo blog è sempre aggiornato su come le città di tutto il mondo stanno affrontando, e sempre più abbracciando, la Sharing Economy.

Oggi sono lieto di condividere alcune importanti novità riguardanti Milano. A seguito di una ampia consultazione pubblica, il Comune di Milano si è impegnato ad aiutare la Sharing Economy a crescere e diventare per i milanesi parte della normale vita quotidiana. Gli amministratori sanno che la Sharing Economy sta contribuendo a rendere Milano una città più aperta, accogliente e solidale, per chi ci vive e per chi la visita.

Noi siamo d’accordo.

Nel corso di quest’anno, Milano prevede di accogliere oltre 20 milioni di visitatori per l’Expo 2015 che si incontreranno per riflettere su come ottenere un progresso sostenibile in un mondo dove le risorse sono in diminuzione. I nostri host sono pronti ad accogliere questi ospiti, condividendo con loro lo spirito di questa città e portando i benefici economici del turismo tradizionale a nuove attività locali e quartieri, andando oltre ai luoghi turistici per eccellenza.

Airbnb ha una lunga storia nell’aiutare le community locali ad ospitare grandi eventi, questo è già avvenuto alle Olimpiadi di Londra, per la Coppa del Mondo in Brasile e durante la convention nazionale dei democratici in America nel 2008. Tutte le volte in cui le soluzioni di alloggio tradizionali sono al completo, gli host Airbnb aprono le loro porte per supportare l’accoglienza di tutti i visitatori e offrire un’esperienza locale autentica.

Siamo lieti che la città di Milano sia divenuta pioniera dell’innovazione e abbia aderito alla crescente lista di destinazioni in tutto il mondo che stanno aiutando i propri cittadini a condividere le loro case e le città che amano con ospiti rispettosi provenienti da tutto il mondo. Siamo pronti a lavorare con Milano e i suoi abitanti su come portare la città a ricoprire un ruolo di leader globale della Sharing Economy.

Working Together for Home Sharing in New York City

Seven years ago, two recent graduates who couldn’t pay their rent hosted a few out-of-town guests on air beds in their San Francisco apartment. Later, they created Airbnb, and today thousands of New Yorkers are doing the same thing: welcoming visitors from across the globe into their homes and, along the way, earning a little extra money to help pay the rent, meet their mortgage, or cover rising bills.

We are proud that Airbnb has helped so many New Yorkers through difficult times, but we also understand that as home sharing services like ours become more prevalent, governments are striving to strike the right balance between the transparency and benefits these services provide on the one hand, and the potential for abuses if these sites are overrun with activity that doesn’t help neighborhoods on the other.

Today, the New York City Council is hosting a public hearing on home sharing. We expect Council Members will hear many points of view, including from those who have concerns about parts of this activity.  Some of those concerns are well founded, others less so. We want everyone to know that we’re listening, and that we’re eager to work with all stakeholders in New York, including policymakers, housing advocates, and regular New Yorkers, to ensure that home sharing continues to benefit New York, and that it is done safely and responsibly.

More than 26 million people have now stayed in an Airbnb listing around the world. We know that when a person simply rents out his or her own home — as about 87% percent of our hosts do in New York — the experiences are overwhelmingly positive and very few problems ever occur. Our hosts provide a truly local, personal experience for guests around the world.  Hosts welcome travelers to this city, educate them about their neighborhoods, and recommend places to eat and visit. Guests come to New York and get to stay in neighborhoods underserved by hotels. They come with families, and spend more time and money in more diverse neighborhoods throughout the city.

That also means they are more likely to visit small businesses in Queens, Brooklyn, the Bronx, Staten Island, and see unique parts of New York to which they might not otherwise have gone. In fact, a recent study we commissioned from HR&A Advisors found that Airbnb visits generated an estimated $768 million in economic activity across the City in a single year, with much of that occurring in the outer boroughs.

But just generating economic activity in New York isn’t enough. That’s why we continually work to create the best community of hosts we can, removing hosts who are not living up to the standards expected by the rest of our community or the standards of their surrounding neighborhoods. Last year, we removed more than 2,000 New York City listings because the hosts failed to provide a local and meaningful experience to their guests or a good experience for their neighborhoods. And we continue to focus on ensuring that our guests have a high-quality experience in cities and towns around the world.

Our hosts enjoy a $1 million guarantee in case of eligible damage to their property, and they now have access to a secondary liability insurance policy in case a guest suffers property damage or has an injury or accident in their home or building as well.  These are just part of a series of initiatives to help our hosts create the safest environment for travelers and for their neighbors as they possibly can.

Our hosts already receive 1099 tax forms to help them pay their income tax, and we have also said many times that we want to help our hosts and guests collect and remit their hotel taxes.  We estimate that we could begin collecting and remitting as much as $65 million in hotel taxes this year alone, if only the tax laws were changed to allow companies like ours to help collect taxes and send the money to the government. We believe there is a simple fix and we hope legislators in Albany take up that fix this year.

No one should be snapping up large numbers of housing units, kicking out long term tenants and turning apartments into illegal hotels, and we support laws that ban that activity and increase enforcement and penalties.  But that issue should be treated as entirely separate from the question of whether citizens of New York should be allowed by law to open up their own homes for a few days or a few weeks a year just to make ends meet or meet people from other cultures.  We think it is obvious that they should be allowed to do so, and even those who drafted the 2010 law banning illegal hotels agreed. Now it is time to work together towards a technical fix so regular New Yorkers are no longer swept up in a fight that has nothing to do with them.

The vast majority of  Airbnb hosts use the money they earn to pay the bills and stay in their homes. We look forward to working with all New Yorkers to make sure they can continue to do so while welcoming more travelers to our amazing city.

Working Together to Collect and Remit Taxes in San Jose, California

Last month, the San Jose City Council approved groundbreaking legislation allowing residents to share their homes. For several months, we have been working with city officials to finalize a voluntary agreement to collect and remit hotel taxes on behalf of our hosts and guests in San Jose.

Members of our San Jose community and City leaders have expressed interest in Airbnb collecting and remitting hotel taxes on behalf of our users. We are excited to announce that we will begin collecting and remitting these taxes in San Jose on February 1st. If you are a host in San Jose and you’d like to learn more about how this process will work, you can visit our Help Center.

In 2014, we began collecting tourist taxes from guests on behalf of our hosts in Portland, Oregon and San Francisco, California. On February 1st, this program will expand to include both San Jose (the 10th largest city in the United States) and Amsterdam. We look forward to continuing to learn new lessons through this type of collaboration with cities.

This agreement with San Jose is a great example of how we are partnering with policymakers around the world on rules that strengthen cities and their residents. We look forward to continuing these conversations to ensure that tax rules for home sharing are clear, fair, and easy to follow.

Update from Amsterdam

Earlier this year, I shared some exciting news from Amsterdam where the City gave final approval to a new policy that embraces home sharing. Today, I’m pleased to announce that we are strengthening our partnership with the City and that we will work together to promote responsible home sharing in Amsterdam and to simplify the payment of tourist tax for our hosts.

The details of this partnership, which is the first of its kind in Europe, can be found here.

This is good news for our hosts, who will benefit from a simplified tourist tax process and clearer information on what local laws and regulations may apply to them.

It is also a great example of how we are working together with policy makers across the world on progressive rules that strengthen cities and help local residents make a little extra money to afford living costs.

We are excited by the growing list of destinations that are embracing home sharing and the benefits it offers.