Supporting Local, Neighborhood Spending in San Francisco

Earlier today, Airbnb sent the following letter to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and Mayor Ed Lee. You can view the entire Neighborhood Spending study from the Land Econ Group here.

To the San Francisco Board of Supervisors:

We recently asked the economists at Land Econ Group to study Airbnb’s impact in neighborhoods ranging everywhere from the Castro to the Richmond, and the Sunset to the Bayview. We wanted you to be the first to know about the quantitative results.

As you know, every year, Airbnb hosts in San Francisco welcome tens of thousands of guests from around the world. Collectively, these visitors generate more than $460 million in economic activity — and with 72 percent of Airbnb listings outside of Union Square and Fisherman’s Wharf, they’re spending time and money in every neighborhood across San Francisco. Additionally, Airbnb guests pay more than $12 million annually in transient occupancy (hotel) taxes to the city.

Here is just a sample of the positive impact our community is having on neighborhoods and businesses across San Francisco, according to this study:

Screen Shot 2015-08-31 at 2.30.57 PM

Additionally, Land Econ Group’s research also found:

  • Over the last year, Airbnb guests generated $5.5 million in sales tax revenue, in addition to the more than $12 million in hotel taxes remitted on an annual basis [predicted]
  • More than 300,000 guests came to visit San Francisco and stayed in Airbnbs over the last year, spending $338 million of which $105 million went directly to local hosts, the vast majority of whom are middle class families
  • 37 percent of guests’ non-accommodation spending was within the neighborhood of their lodging, indicating that spending by Airbnb guests is distributed much more broadly in San Francisco than spending by hotel guests

We are proud of our community’s impact in our hometown, San Francisco, and proud to support thousands of small businesses and middle class families in every corner of this city. Enclosed is the entire memo from Land Econ Group outlining the results of their study, but if you have any additional questions, please do not hesitate to reach out.

Welcome, Chris Lehane

Today, I’m thrilled to announce that Chris Lehane has joined Airbnb as our Head of Global Policy and Public Affairs.  In this role, Chris will be directing our work with policymakers and our efforts to educate more people, organizations and stakeholders about Airbnb and the right to share your home. Chris and his team will also help organize our hosts and ensure their voices are heard loud and clear by policymakers who are learning more about Airbnb.

We’ve already seen that our community can have a real impact when they come together to advocate for fair rules and tell their story. Airbnb is empowering everyday people to take what is typically their greatest expense – housing – and use it to supplement their income and pay for things like their kids’ college tuition or provide the seed money to start a small business.

When our community tells their story to policymakers, they respond. The United Kingdom and cities like Amsterdam, Paris, Philadelphia, San Jose, and Nashville have already welcomed Airbnb.

We know there is more work to do. As we go forward, Chris will be working with the Public Policy team that has been assembled under the leadership of David Hantman. When David told us a few months ago that he wanted to shift into a consulting role so he could spend less time on airplanes commuting between San Francisco and his home in New York City, we knew we wanted to find someone who would build on his team’s great track record.

Chris has worked with us as a consultant for quite some time, and there was no question that he was the right person for the job. He’s smart, strategic and tough and our community couldn’t ask for a better or more effective advocate.

If you follow politics in the United States, you are probably familiar with his work. Chris is a lawyer who got his start on President Clinton’s 1992 campaign and worked in a series of high-profile roles in the Clinton Administration. From 1998 to the end of the historic 2000 presidential campaign, he served as Vice President Al Gore’s Press Secretary.

In 2001, he co-founded his firm Fabiani & Lehane, where he continued to fight – and deliver – in government advocacy and campaign related work. He recently represented AT&T as it merged with DirecTV, helped keep in place some of the toughest legislation to fight climate change in the country, successfully closed a tax loophole to level the playing field for workers and businesses, represented transit workers striking for fair pay and fought for progressive health care reforms.

He has represented individuals like former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer in his successful bid to buy the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers and Michael Moore on his Oscar winning Fahrenheit 9/11. Chris has also worked with technology companies in Silicon Valley, alternative energy companies, our hometown San Francisco Giants, and advocacy groups such as Labor Unions and NextGen Climate, a leading climate change advocacy organization.

I know Chris is going to be focused on communicating how the Airbnb platform is helping everyday people and he is excited to help organize our millions of hosts and guests into advocates for the right to home share.  And Chris understands that our community is capable of making decisions that are in the best interest of the cities they live in.

Chris lives here in San Francisco with his wife and two boys and you’ll hear more from him on this blog over the next few weeks. In the meantime, please continue to reach out to us if you have any questions or suggestions. We know Airbnb would be nothing without you and we’re excited about the future.

Association of Independent Hospitality Professionals Statement on Airbnb

This past week, the Association of Independent Hospitality Professionals (AIHP) formally embraced Airbnb and expressed their support for our platform. AIHPis the most respected national organization of inns and B&Bs in the United States. 

AIHP’s statement reads in part: “The Airbnb web site allows for guests to choose from a category of ‘bed and breakfasts’ and gives hosts, i.e. B&Bs and innkeepers, another option to offer their properties to millions of potential guests. It is clear to AIHP that Airbnb also recognizes the significance of ‘professionally’ run hospitality properties that are registered with occupancy tax collecting municipalities. These properties are the backbone of our industry, and they are clearly an important part of Airbnb’s future.” 

In the months ahead, we will continue having productive conversations with AIHP. We’re looking forward to helping other hospitality associations recognize the value that the Airbnb platform can bring to everyone. And we’ll keep working with a wide range of partners to pursue our common mission: creating local, independent travel experiences that let visitors feel like they can belong anywhere, and create memories they will never forget. 

New Report: Ontario Business Leaders Champion the Sharing Economy

Today the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) released a new report that calls on the Government of Ontario to embrace and support the sharing economy. Their report “Harnessing the Power of the Sharing Economy: Next Steps for Ontario”, concludes that jurisdictions implementing measures that support innovation will be best placed to drive economic growth in the future:

“Despite the many challenges the sharing economy presents to regulators, its growth should be viewed as an opportunity. The jurisdictions that are building the regulatory and taxation frameworks that protect the public interest while support innovation will be more likely to incubate the new technologies that will drive economic growth in the future…

“…By adopting regular responses to the growth of the sharing economy, Ontario and Canada have the ability to act as first movers in the sharing economy space, and in doing so, be well positioned to harness its economic potential.“

The report makes a series of recommendations that would help achieve this goal, including:

  • Establishing an expert taskforce to analyze potential opportunities and impacts of the sharing economy and to make recommendations to government

  • Using research, analysis and expert opinion to revolutionize regulations that impact on the sharing economy, keeping only rules deemed necessary and relevant today

  • Working with Federal Government to develop a ‘how to’ guide on tax on tax compliance in the sharing economy.

You can read more about the recommendations included in the Chamber of Commerce’s report here.

Today’s report comes at a pivotal moment in Ontario’s engagement with the sharing economy and follows a commitment from the government to review regulatory and tax rules. We believe the recommendations in this report create a good foundation for achieving this aim and look forward to continuing our constructive discussions with everyone in Ontario. By working together on thoughtful rules, we can ensure the sharing economy and innovative business models thrive in Ontario.

Airbnb to Collect Tourist Taxes in No.1 City – Paris

We have been working with cities around the world on clear, fair rules that make it easier for hosts and guests to pay tourist taxes. Today I’m delighted to share news that beginning October 1, 2015, Airbnb will begin collecting and remitting tourist taxes from guests on behalf of hosts in Paris, the number one city in the world for home sharing. The process will be fully automated and more streamlined for everyone involved, and will gradually be extended to other cities across France. It comes after the French Government published a decree that allows internet platforms like Airbnb to take on this administrative burden and collect taxes on behalf of our hosts.

We are grateful for the opportunity to work together with authorities in France to implement this measure and are proud to launch it in our number one city. This isn’t the first time we’ve worked closely with French officials. France has enacted smart policies from home sharing, including Bill ALUR, which provided a clear legal framework for home sharing in France.

Airbnb first began collecting and remitting hotel and tourist taxes from guests on behalf of hosts in San Francisco and Portland. Since then we have worked together with forward thinking authorities on similar initiatives in Amsterdam, Philadelphia, Chicago, Malibu, San Jose, San Diego and Washington D.C. We are proud to lead our industry on this matter and ensure governments receive this resource.

We continue to engage with policy makers around the world on tax issues and applaud the leaders worldwide who want to make tax rules simple, clear and fair. This is a complicated venture as tax rules vary in nearly every jurisdiction where we do business, but we are committed to extending this programme and look forward to working with more cities on this matter.

For more information on today’s announcement, check out our press release.

Airbnb va collecter la taxe de séjour à Paris, sa première destination

Nous travaillons avec les villes à travers le monde pour définir des règles claires et simples qui facilitent le paiement de la taxe de séjour par notre communauté. Aujourd’hui, je suis ravi d’annoncer qu’à partir du 1er Octobre 2015, Airbnb collectera et reversera la taxe de séjour pour le compte de ses hôtes à Paris, sa première destination mondiale pour la location d’hébergements entre particuliers. Le processus, entièrement automatisé et simplifié pour tout le monde, sera progressivement étendu à d’autres villes en France. Cela fait suite à la publication par le Gouvernement français d’un Décret qui donne la possibilité aux plateformes internet comme Airbnb de prendre en charge ces démarches et collecter la taxe pour le compte de ses hôtes.

Nous sommes ravis d’avoir l’opportunité de travailler avec les autorités françaises, et fiers de mettre en place cette initiative dans notre première destination. Ce n’est pas la première fois que nous travaillons étroitement avec les Institutions françaises. La France a défini un cadre adapté au “home sharing” avec le vote de la loi ALUR en 2014, qui clarifie le cadre légal de la location d’hébergements entre particuliers en France.

Airbnb a commencé à collecter la taxe de séjour auprès des voyageurs et pour le compte de ses hôtes à San Francisco et Portland. Depuis, nous avons travaillé avec d’autres autorités sur des initiatives similaires à Amsterdam, Philadelphia, Chicago, Malibu, San Jose, San Diego et Washington D.C. Nous sommes fiers d’être pionniers au sein notre secteur sur le sujet et d’assurer que les Gouvernements reçoivent plus efficacement ces ressources.

Nous continuons à travailler avec les décideurs politiques à travers le monde sur les questions fiscales, et saluons les autorités qui veulent rendre les règles plus simples, claires et justes. La fiscalité est un sujet compliqué car les règles varient d’une juridiction à l’autre, mais nous sommes décidés à étendre ce processus et nous avons hâte de travailler avec d’autres villes sur le sujet.

Pour plus d’informations sur cette annonce, je vous invite à consulter notre communiqué de presse ici.

First in Class: An Innovative Partnership with San Francisco Travel Association

Today we are excited to announce a new partnership with the San Francisco Travel Association, making San Francisco the first city in the world to formalize a tourism partnership with Airbnb and our community of hosts and guests. Together we will leverage our dynamic host community and SFT’s expertise to innovatively meet the needs of San Francisco visitors and broaden the economic impact of tourism to touch new neighborhoods and small businesses in every corner of San Francisco.

This collaboration will ensure that the traditional and sharing tourism models work together more closely to make this city one of the most compelling destinations in the world.

At the center of the partnership is our shared goal to help every guest experience San Francisco like a local, throughout its diverse neighborhoods. Together, we will connect visitors from across the globe to neighborhoods by creating neighborhood tourism tool kits for local merchants, and creating unique content about local neighborhoods, businesses and experiences throughout the city. Additionally, we will work with meeting and event planners to achieve peak attendance during conventions and big events while meeting the diverse lodging preferences of a wide range of delegates coming to the city.

Airbnb sees the city of San Francisco through both the eyes of the people who live here and the people who visit here. Last year, our community was responsible for more than $450 million in economic activity alone. With more than 72 percent of our 5000+ San Francisco hosts living and hosting outside the main hotel districts, they are already connecting visitors from across the globe to more of the city’s diverse neighborhoods and businesses in meaningful ways. By partnering with San Francisco Travel, we and our hosts are furthering our commitment to bringing the positive economic benefits of tourism to every corner of the City by the Bay.

Update from Catalonia

Last week, the Government of Catalonia announced its intention to regulate home sharing and said it will consult on draft proposals this summer. Felip Puig, Minister for Enterprise in Catalonia who has previously called for home sharing to be welcomed in the region, said the rules would embrace new forms of tourism.

These draft proposals are yet to be published – so while we applaud Minister Puig’s stated intentions, the exact detail of the new framework is still unknown.

A number of press reports since this announcement was made seem to suggest that – contrary to Minister Puig’s stated intentions – the draft proposals may actually restrict the ability of local residents to share their homes with guests, including extending the current registration and notification requirements to home sharing.

If these reports are accurate, rather than putting Catalonia at the cutting edge of innovation and sustainable tourism policies, these proposals risk putting disproportionate regulatory burdens on hosts, making it harder for them to share their homes and hospitality with guests. Local residents want to follow the rules, but they need to be made easier – not harder – for regular people to follow.

Some aspects of the new proposals are certainly good news for everyone in Catalonia. We know that hosts have previously called to be allowed to pay tourist taxes in Barcelona, for example. We now want to work together with the Government of Catalonia to ensure that all aspects of their proposals are good news for local residents and that the region does not unwittingly choke its global reputation for innovation.

As I have written previously on this blog, Airbnb hosts are regular people who are sharing their homes and using the additional income to stay in their homes. They are not businesses or contractors – they are ordinary local residents like Antonio, Dámaris and Rosa, people who are helping to make ends meet by sharing their homes and the city they love. They are providing a unique travel experience and are attracting new, quality guests to Catalonia who want to experience it like a local.

We will continue to encourage the Catalonian government to follow the example of places like Paris, London, Amsterdam, Hamburg and Bruges, who have successfully introduced fair legal frameworks that allow people to share their homes without unnecessary red tape and bureaucracy. Recent examples from the UK and The Netherlands show how governments are looking at further steps they can take to support the sharing economy and the positive impacts it has on local residents and their communities.

As the eyes of Europe and the world turn to how Catalonia is approaching the sharing economy, we want to work with everyone there on fair, progressive rules that support local residents, increase consumer choice and promote modern and sustainable business models.

 

Novetats a Catalunya

La setmana passada, el govern de la Generalitat va anunciar la seva intenció de regular el home sharing (que les persones puguin compartir la casa on viuen). El mateix govern, mitjançant el conseller d’Empresa i Ocupació, Felip Puig, va avançar que llançarà una consulta sobre aquest projecte normatiu. Puig, que en ocasions anteriors també havia assegurat que el fet de poder compartir casa hauria de ser una activitat admesa a Catalunya, va afegir que la futura normativa, un cop aprovada, donaria cabuda a noves tipologies d’allotjament.

Tot i que aplaudim les intencions del Conseller Puig, el text d’aquest projecte de mesura encara no s’ha fet públic de manera oficial i, per tant, el detall exacte del nou marc és encara desconegut.

Diverses informacions aparegudes als mitjans des que es van fer públiques les propostes de la Generalitat, semblen suggerir que les mesures anunciades podrien, de fet, restringir la capacitat dels residents locals per compartir les seves llars amb els viatgers, entre elles, l’obligació dels requisits de registre i notificació per als que vulguin compartir casa seva.

Si aquestes informacions resulten ser exactes, en lloc de posar Catalunya en l’avantguarda de les polítiques d’innovació i de turisme sostenible, les propostes suposarien afegir càrregues reguladores desproporcionades sobre els amfitrions, fent que sigui més difícil per a ells el compartir les seves llars. Els residents locals han manifestat que volen complir amb les normes, però per a això cal tenir una normativa que faciliti el seu compliment.

Alguns aspectes de les noves propostes són, sens dubte, una bona notícia per als que viuen a Catalunya. En aquest sentit, els amfitrions han manifestat en diverses ocasions que volen que se’ls permeti pagar la taxa turística. Volem treballar conjuntament amb el Govern català per facilitar que les seves propostes suposin també una bona notícia per a tots els residents locals i que Catalunya no perdi part de la seva reputació com a referent mundial en innovació.

Com hem assenyalat anteriorment en aquest blog, els amfitrions són persones normals que comparteixen les seves llars, ciutadans que en moltes ocasions utilitzen aquests ingressos addicionals per a romandre a la casa on viuen o arribar a final de mes. No es tracta, per tant, d’empreses o professionals, sinó de veïns com l’Antonio, la Dàmaris o la Rosa. Tots ells estan proporcionant experiències úniques a qui ens visita i atrauen viatgers de qualitat a Catalunya, hostes que volen gaudir de la ciutat com un veí més de Barcelona.

Seguirem recomanant al govern català que segueixi l’exemple de llocs com París, Londres, Amsterdam, Hamburg o Bruges, on s’han introduït amb èxit marcs legals proporcionats, que permeten que les persones puguin compartir les seves llars sense tràmits burocràtics innecessaris. Els exemples recents del Regne Unit i dels Països Baixos demostren com els governs estan donant nous passos per donar suport a l’economia colaborativa i beneficiar-se dels efectes positius que aquesta té sobre els residents i les comunitats locals.

Tenint en compte que des de moltes parts d’Europa i del món s’observa de quina manera Catalunya s’adapta a l’economia col·laborativa, estem disposats a treballar amb tots per aconseguir unes regles justes i proporcionades que donin suport als residents locals, que incrementin la capacitat de elecció dels individus i que promoguin models de negoci moderns i sostenibles.

 

Novedades en Cataluña

La semana pasada, la Generalitat de Catalunya anunció su intención de regular el home sharing (que las personas puedan compartir la casa en la que viven). El mismo gobierno, a través del Conseller d’Empresa i Ocupació, Felip Puig, adelantó que lanzará una consulta sobre este proyecto normativo. Puig, que en ocasiones anteriores también había asegurado que el hecho de poder compartir casa debería ser una actividad admitida en Cataluña, añadió que la futura normativa, una vez aprobada, daría cabida a nuevas tipologías de alojamiento.

Aunque aplaudimos las intenciones declaradas por el Conseller Puig, el texto de este proyecto de medida aún no se ha hecho público de manera oficial y, por lo tanto, el detalle exacto del nuevo marco es aún desconocido.

Diversas informaciones aparecidas en los medios desde que se hicieron públicas las propuestas de la Generalitat, parecen sugerir que las propuestas anunciadas podrían, de hecho, restringir la capacidad de los residentes locales para compartir sus hogares con los viajeros, entre ellas, la obligación de los requisitos de registro y notificación para quienes quieran compartir su casa.

Si estas informaciones resultan ser exactas, en lugar de poner Cataluña en la vanguardia de las políticas de innovación y de turismo sostenible, las propuestas supondrían añadir cargas regulatorias desproporcionadas sobre los anfitriones, haciendo que sea más difícil para ellos que puedan compartir sus hogares. Los residentes locales han manifestado que quieren cumplir con las normas, pero para ello es necesario tener una normativa que facilite su cumplimiento.

Algunos aspectos de las nuevas propuestas son, sin duda, una buena noticia para los que viven en Cataluña. Los anfitriones han manifestado en varias ocasiones que quieren que se les permita pagar la tasa turística. En este sentido, queremos trabajar conjuntamente con el gobierno de la Generalitat para facilitar que sus propuestas supongan también una buena noticia para todos los residentes locales, y que Cataluña no pierda parte de su reputación como referente mundial en innovación.

Como hemos señalado anteriormente en este blog, los anfitriones son personas normales que comparten sus hogares, ciudadanos que en muchas ocasiones utilizan esos ingresos adicionales para permanecer en la casa en la que viven o llegar a fin de mes. No se trata, por lo tanto, de empresas o profesionales, sino de vecinos como Antonio, Dàmaris y Rosa. Todos ellos están proporcionando a quienes nos visitan una experiencia única y están atrayendo viajeros de calidad a Cataluña, huéspedes que quieren disfrutar de la ciudad como un ciudadano más de Barcelona.

Vamos a seguir recomendando al gobierno catalán que siga el ejemplo de lugares como París, Londres, Ámsterdam, Hamburgo o Brujas, que han introducido con éxito marcos legales proporcionados, que permiten que las personas puedan compartir sus hogares sin trámites burocráticos innecesarios. Los ejemplos recientes del Reino Unido y de los Países Bajos demuestran cómo los gobiernos están dando nuevos pasos para apoyar a la economía colaborativa y beneficiarse de los efectos positivos que ésta tiene sobre los residentes y las comunidades locales.

Teniendo en cuenta que desde muchas partes de Europa y del mundo se observa de qué manera Cataluña se adapta a la economía colaborativa, estamos dispuestos a trabajar con todos para conseguir una reglas justas y proporcionadas que apoyen a los residentes locales, que incrementen la capacidad de elección de los individuos y que promuevan modelos de negocio modernos y sostenibles.

Dutch Government Wants Rules that ‘Create Space for Innovation’

The Dutch government has today announced it will review rules that limit the abilities of modern businesses to innovate and drive growth in The Netherlands, including sharing economy platforms like Airbnb. In a letter from Henk Kamp, the Minister for Economic Affairs, he said that because current rules and regulations are often based on old manufacturing techniques and sales channels, the government sometimes unwittingly stands in the way of innovation and growth.

Here’s what the minister said:

“If we want to reap the first benefits of such innovation in the Netherlands, then we need to provide space for it in our rules. Through this, our innovative entrepreneurs get a chance to continue to develop better products and services, which ensures that new businesses and jobs are created here rather than elsewhere.”

The news follows a similar announcement by the UK government earlier this month, which is establishing an emerging industries action group to “…ensure that the UK is supporting these businesses, breaking down barriers and boosting UK productivity.”

Both announcements recognise that sharing economy platforms are supporting a wide range of new transactions and interactions, enabling consumers to become producers, and giving them access to greater choices in products and services. When these platforms can grow and invest, real people benefit.

Today’s announcement is good news for regular people across The Netherlands who are sharing their homes and providing guests from around the world with a unique and authentically local travel experience. These local hosts are bringing new economic, social and environmental benefits to their communities and we are grateful for the opportunity to work together with the Dutch government on progressive ways to support them.

We have already worked closely with the City of Amsterdam on fair and modern rules for home sharing and to simplify the payment of tourist taxes. As we continue working together to promote responsible home sharing, we are learning more about how home sharing can be part of the solution on other issues, like spreading economic benefits to less visited communities and encouraging a modern and sustainable tourism infrastructure.

We applaud the Dutch Government on this move and look forward to working together with them on similar, forward-thinking measures that befit the country’s global reputation for innovation and hospitality, and that follow in the footsteps of places like London, Paris, Amsterdam, Portugal and Hamburg.

Flanders Ready to Simplify Home Sharing Rules

Today we are pleased to share good news from the Flanders Region of Belgium, where the Government has just published a draft bill updating the policy framework for tourist accommodation, including short-term rentals.

Flanders is proposing a smart new legal framework. The draft bill published yesterday states that in Flanders, people are free to share their homes with guests from all over the world without the need for prior authorisation, as long as they follow basic safety rules. By making rules for home sharing in Flanders so clear, simple and fair, the Government sets an example for innovative tourism not only for Europe but also across the world. The draft bill will now be debated in the Flemish Parliament.

Flanders Tourism Minister Ben Weyts said: “By updating our tourism regulations, we’re creating a level playing field for all types of lodging, including home sharing. We want to enhance tourism innovation and entrepreneurial spirit so everyone can take part in creating a modern and sustainable tourism infrastructure in Flanders. By implementing clear rules that are simple for everyone to follow, we have created a modern system that promotes innovation and treats everyone equally. We will establish measures to promote these rules, support genuine innovators and clamp down on those who refuse to follow the broad new regulations.”

We look forward to adding the Flanders region to the growing list of European cities that are embracing home sharing, including London, Paris, Amsterdam and Hamburg. If agreed, these new rules would support thousands of hosts across the region – in cities like Ghent, Bruges and Antwerp – to make a little extra income by sharing their homes and spread economic benefits to new communities and local businesses.

Study after study has shown that Airbnb attracts respectful guests who want to live like a local and experience a different side of cities. They stay longer, spend more in diverse neighborhoods and are more likely to return.

We are looking forward to working with everyone in the Flanders region and hope to partner with others in Belgium on progressive rules that back innovation, support local residents and develop responsible and sustainable tourism policies.

Vlaanderen Europees voorloper voor tijdelijke vakantieverhuur

Vandaag zijn we erg opgetogen om goed nieuws mee te delen uit Vlaanderen, waar de Regering net een wetsontwerp heeft gepubliceerd dat een nieuw beleidskader voorstelt voor toeristische logies, waaronder ook korte termijn vakantieverhuur.

Vlaanderen stelt een doordacht nieuw kader voor. Het wetsontwerp dat gisteren gepubliceerd werd, vermeldt dat mensen in Vlaanderen hun woning kunnen delen met bezoekers van overal ter wereld zonder enige registratie noch tijdslimiet, voor zover zij een aantal basisregels respecteren (zoals veiligheidseisen). Door de regels voor het tijdelijk delen van woningen (home sharing) eenvoudig, duidelijk en fair te maken, geeft de Vlaamse Regering een voorbeeld van innovatief toerisme beleid, niet alleen aan de rest van Europa, maar ook aan de wereld. Het Vlaams Parlement zal het ontwerp nu verder bespreken.

Vlaams Minister voor Toerisme Ben Weyts zegt hierover: “Door het updaten van onze regelgeving voor toeristische logies, zijn wij een level playing field aan het creëren voor alle type logies, waaronder ook het delen van woningen. We willen innovatief zijn op het vlak van toerisme zodat iedereen deel kan nemen aan het creeren van een moderne en duurzame infrastructuur voor toerisme in Vlaanderen. Door het implementeren van duidelijke en eenvoudige regels, willen we een modern systeem creeren dat innovatie mogelijk maakt en iedereen gelijk behandelt.  We zullen maatregelen implementeren om deze regels kenbaar te maken, innoveerders te steunen en de enkelingen te sanctioneren die weigeren zich aan deze nieuwe brede regels te houden.”

Wereldwijd omarmen meer en meer beleidsmakers home sharing en keuren progressieve regels goed die innovatie steunen, ondersteuning aan lokale inwoners bieden en de ontwikkeling van het toerisme onderschrijven. Europese voorbeelden van deze trend zijn Parijs, Hamburg, Amsterdam en Londen. Wij verheugen ons dat het Vlaams Gewest zich aan deze lijst wenst toe te voegen. Eenmaal goedgekeurd, zullen deze regels in Gent, Brugge, Antwerpen, Leuven, Hasselt maar ook aan de kust en in andere streken duizenden verhuurders in staat stellen om een centje bij te verdienen en de economische voordelen van toerisme te verspreiden over het land en lokale ondernemers.

Economisch onderzoek heeft aangetoond dat Airbnb-gasten lokaal willen leven, dineren en shoppen. Ze verblijven langer in de toeristische gebieden, ze geven ook meer uit in uiteenlopende wijken en ze komen vaker terug.

Wij kijken ernaar uit om samen te werken met iedereen in het Vlaams Gewest. We hopen ook samen te werken  met de andere deelstaten in België aan moderne regels die innovatie en inwoners ondersteunen, en een verantwoord en duurzaam toerismebeleid mogelijk maken.

La Flandre s’apprête à simplifier les règles pour partager son logement

Nous sommes ravis de partager une avancée majeure dans la Région Flamande en Belgique, où le gouvernement vient juste de publier une proposition de loi qui met à jour les règles pour la location touristique, y compris la location courte durée de logement.

La Flandre propose un nouveau cadre légal bien pensé. La proposition de loi publiée aujourd’hui stipule qu’en Flandre les habitants sont libres de partager leur logement avec des voyageurs du monde entier sans avoir besoin d’une autorisation préalable, tant qu’ils respectent des règles de sécurité de base. En rendant le partage de logement en Flandre si clair, simple et juste, le gouvernement montre l’exemple, non seulement en Europe mais dans le monde entier. La proposition va maintenant être débattue au Parlement Flamand.

Le Ministre du Tourisme Ben Weyts déclare: “En mettant à jour nos réglementations en matière de tourisme, nous créons un nouveau terrain de jeu pour toutes les formes de logements, y compris la location de particulier à particulier. Nous voulons mettre en avant l’innovation dans le tourisme et l’esprit entrepreneurial pour que chacun puisse prendre part à la création d’une infrastructure touristique moderne et durable en Flandre. En implémentant des règles claires qui sont simples à suivre pour tous, nous avons créé un système moderne qui promeut l’innovation et traite tout le monde équitablement. Nous établirons des mesures pour promouvoir ces règles, soutenir les véritables innovateurs et aller à l’encontre de ceux qui refuseront de suivre ces nouvelles règles”.

Nous avons hâte d’ajouter la Flandre à la liste grandissante des villes européennes qui accueillent positivement le concept de partage de logement dont Londres, Paris, Amsterdam et Hambourg. Si la proposition de loi est acceptée, elle sera précieuse pour des milliers d’hôtes à travers la région – dans des villes comme Gent, Bruges et Anvers – qui arrondissent leur fins de mois en ouvrant leurs portes et participent aux retombées économiques qui bénéficient à de nouvelles communautés et aux commerces locaux.

Plusieurs études ont montré qu’Airbnb attire des voyageurs respectueux qui veulent vivre comme des locaux et avoir une expérience nouvelle des villes qu’ils visitent. Ils séjournent plus longtemps, dépensent davantage dans des quartiers variés et sont plus susceptibles de revenir.

Nous avons hâte de continuer à travailler avec les autorités de la Région Flamande et espérons nouer d’autres partenariats en Belgique pour des lois progressistes au service de l’innovation, qui soutiennent les résidents locaux et développent les règles d’un tourisme responsable et durable.

UK Hosts to Benefit From Government Tax Relief

Today we are celebrating great news from the UK where the government has announced changes to the Rent-a-Room relief, allowing hosts to share space in their home tax free on income up to £7,500. The measure, which comes into force in April 2016, further demonstrates the UK government’s commitment to being a world leader in the sharing economy and shows their support for local residents across the country who are sharing their homes.

Earlier this year, the government reformed a piece of 1970’s era legislation and implemented progressive new rules for London that ensure everyone in the UK is free to share their homes with guests from around the world for up to 90 days a year without the need for planning permission. These were landmark rules that added London to the growing list of cities around the world that are embracing home sharing.

In the government’s previous budget statement, George Osborne, the UK Chancellor, also announced measures that he said would put the UK “at the forefront of the sharing economy”, including making it easier for individuals to sublet a room, encouraging government employees to use sharing economy solutions to book accommodation when travelling on official business, and encouraging local authorities to use their discretionary powers to support the sharing economy. You can read more about these measures here.

We are grateful for the continued support for the sharing economy from the UK government and will work with them to understand more about this announcement in the coming weeks. Their commitment to innovation and progressive business models that empower regular people and transform individuals’ lives are an example to the world. They continue to implement measures that set new standards for innovative cities across the world and we look forward to continuing our work with them to make the UK a world leader for the sharing economy.