Safety and Airbnb

Yesterday, Steven Spinola, the President of the  Real Estate Board of New York expressed concerns about safety in Airbnb listings. We understand those concerns. The safety of hosts, guests and landlords is our top priority.

Today, after years of work, we proudly announced Host Protection Insurance. Airbnb already provide hosts with guidelines on how to make their listing safer and how to be a responsible neighbor. We are proud to lead on this issue, and the Host Protection Insurance Program is another step we are taking to help protect communities across the country.

Since 2008, more than 25 million guests have had a safe, memorable and positive experience traveling on Airbnb. We know that accidents are rare, but they can happen and we want our hosts be protected. Here is how the program works. If a guest is injured in a listing or elsewhere on the building property during a stay, liability insurance provides coverage for claims by Airbnb hosts and, where applicable, their landlords.

The Host Protection Insurance program is currently targeted to go into effect in the United States starting January 15, 2015 and is designed to cover claims up to $1 million.

This program is just one of the many ways Airbnb is working to protect our hosts and their surrounding communities. We look forward to discussing these further with REBNY and others in the future. 

New Poll: Barcelona Supports Home Sharing

Earlier this week, I wrote about the Airbnb community in Barcelona and talked about how we help bring responsible, respectful travelers to one of Europe’s most amazing cities. Today, we’re highlighting new polling data that shows that Barcelona residents believe home sharing and technology companies make their city and their community a better place to live and work. According to a new representative opinion poll:

  • Overall, 81 percent of Barcelona residents feel that tourism has a mostly or completely positive impact on Barcelona. Nearly 90 percent believe tourism helps the economy and 60 percent believe tourism has a positive impact on the quality of life.

  • 61 percent believe it should be legal for people to rent our houses, apartments or rooms to visitors on a short-term basis – for example, by sharing their home on Airbnb. 74 percent believe this activity can help regular people pay their bills.

  • 70 percent of Barcelona residents hold a favourable view of tech companies, while less than one in ten say they have an unfavourable view.

The citywide survey was conducted by David Binder Research from October 14th to 22nd, 2014 with a representative sample of 600 Barcelona voters. All respondents are residents of Barcelona. The margin of error is 4.1% citywide. Respondents were given the choice of whether to complete the survey in Spanish or in Catalan.

The survey confirms what we hear from Barcelona residents every day. They’ve seen how home sharing can help travelers skip the tourist traps and see the real Barcelona and they know that home sharing can help regular people pay their bills and stay in the home and the neighborhood they love. Our previous economic impact study found that Airbnb hosts spend 60 percent of their Airbnb income on important household expenses. 53 percent of Airbnb hosts say their Airbnb income has helped them stay in their homes. We strongly believe we can all work together to support home sharers and ensure the sharing economy continues to thrive.

We’re encouraged to see the government taking steps to develop new rules for the sharing economy and we look forward to working with everyone on clear, fair rules that make Barcelona an even better place to live, work and visit.

Airbnb Guests and Barcelona

English | Català | Español |

The Airbnb community brings enormous social and economic benefits to Barcelona. Previous studies have shown that Airbnb generated $175 million in economic activity in Barcelona in one year alone. The same study found that Airbnb guests are looking for local, authentic experiences in Barcelona. And when they get to Barcelona they stay longer and spend more.

Today, we’re releasing new data about Airbnb guests who visit Barcelona. The data helps confirm what we’ve known for years: Airbnb brings responsible, respectful travellers to Barcelona who want to experience one of the world’s most amazing cities. While they are here, they spend money at local businesses and with local residents who occasionally share their homes and use the money they earn to pay the bills. You can check it out the infographic here. Some of the highlights about Airbnb guests who visit Barcelona include:

  • The average age of Airbnb guests in Barcelona is 40

  • 60 percent of Airbnb guests are visiting Barcelona for the first time

  • 71 percent of Airbnb guests look for more amenities than a traditional hotel can provide

  • 85 percent have a college degree or higher degree

  • 20 percent would have spent less time in Barcelona if they weren’t staying in Airbnb

  • 72 percent say they want to live like a local

Airbnb guests say they are most interested in dining, exploring new neighborhoods and cultural tourism.

  • 66 percent spent the money they save on food and shopping

  • Half of the money they spend goes to businesses in the neighbourhood where they stay

Airbnb guests travel in small groups and they’re seeing the real Barcelona.

  • 83 percent of Airbnb guests travel with two or fewer people

As our community grows and changes, we will continue to share with you how Airbnb guests and hosts promote sustainable tourism in Barcelona. We look forward to working with leaders in Barcelona, and throughout Spain, on a constructive dialogue about the benefits of home sharing, and the need for smart rules and regulations that support innovation and growth.

BCNGuestSurvey_ENG-page-001

Els hostes d’Airbnb i Barcelona

La comunitat Airbnb porta beneficis socials i econòmics molt grans a Barcelona. Estudis previs han demostrat que Airbnb va generar 128 milions de euros d’activitat econòmica a Barcelona en només un any. El mateix estudi va mostrar que els hostes d’Airbnb estan buscant una experiència més local i autèntica a Barcelona i que, quan viatgen a la ciutat, s’hi queden més temps i gasten més diners.

Avui, anunciem noves dades sobre els hostes d’Airbnb que visiten Barcelona. La informació ajuda a confirmar el que hem sabut durant anys: Airbnb hi porta viatgers responsables i respectuosos i amb ganes d’experimentar una de les ciutats més increïbles del món.

Mentre són aquí, gasten diners en comerços del barri i amb residents locals que de vegades comparteixen casa seva i fan servir aquests diners per fer front a les despeses bàsiques. Pots consultar-ho en la infografia següent.

Algunes dades sobre els hostes d’Airbnb que visiten Barcelona:

  • L’edat mitjana dels viatgers és de 40 anys.

  • El 60% és la primera vegada que visita Barcelona.

  • El 71% està buscant més opcions de les que pot oferir un hotel.

  • El 85% té, com a mínim, un títol universitari.

  • El 20% hauria estat menys temps a Barcelona si no es quedés amb Airbnb.

  • El 72% vol viure durant la seva estada com un resident local.

Els hostes d’Airbnb diuen que estan més interessats a conèixer la gastronomia, explorar nous barris i el turisme cultural:

  • El 66% gasta els diners estalviats en menjar i compres.

  • La meitat dels diners gastats es dirigeix a establiments dels barris on s’allotgen.

Els hostes d’Airbnb viatgen en grups petits i coneixen la Barcelona més autèntica:

  • El 83% dels hostes d’Airbnb ha viatjat amb 2 persones o menys.

La nostra comunitat creix I evoluciona constantment. Seguirem oferint-te informació sobre com els hostes I els amfitrions d’Airbnb promouen un turisme sostenible a Barcelona. Esperemo poder treballar amb les administracions a Barcelona, Catalunya i Espanya per tal de crear un diàleg constructiu al voltant dels beneficis de compartir casa així com sobre la necessitat d’una regulació raonable que s’adapti a la innovació.

 

BCNGuestSurvey_CAT_FINAL-page-001

Los huéspedes de Airbnb y Barcelona

La comunidad Airbnb trae grandes beneficios sociales y económicos a Barcelona. Estudios previos han demostrado que Airbnb generó 128 millones de euros de actividad económica en Barcelona en tan  solo  un año. El mismo estudio  mostró que los huéspedes de Airbnb están buscando una experiencia más local y auténtica en Barcelona y que cuando viajan a la ciudad se quedan más tiempo y gastan más dinero.

Hoy, anunciamos  nuevos datos sobre los huéspedes de Airbnb que visitan Barcelona. La información ayuda a confirmar lo que hemos sabido durante años: Airbnb atrae a viajeros responsables y respetuosos a Barcelona que quieren experimentar cómo es la vida en una de las ciudades más maravillosas del mundo.

Mientras están aquí, gastan dinero en comercios del barrio y se hospedan con residentes de Barcelona que ocasionalmente comparten el espacio que les sobra en sus casas y emplean ese dinero para hacer frente a los gastos básicos. Puedes consultarlo en  la siguiente infografía.

Algunos datos sobre los huéspedes de Airbnb que  visitan Barcelona:

  • La edad media de los viajeros es de 40 años

  • El 60% es la primera vez que visita Barcelona

  • El 71% está buscando más opciones de las que puede ofrecer un hotel

  • El 85% tiene al menos un título universitario

  • El 20% habría estado menos tiempo en Barcelona si no se quedasen con Airbnb

  • El 72% quiere vivir durante su estancia como un residente local

  • Los huéspedes de Airbnb dicen que están más interesados en conocer la gastronomía, explorar nuevos barrios y el turismo cultural:

  • El 66% gasta el dinero ahorrado en comida y compras

  • La mitad del dinero gastado se dirige a establecimientos delos barrios donde se alojan

Los huéspedes de Airbnb viajan en pequeños grupos y conocen la Barcelona más auténtica:

  • El 83% de los huéspedes de Airbnb han viajado con 2 personas o menos.

Nuestra comunidad crece y evoluciona constantemente. Seguiremos informándote de cómo los huéspedes y anfitriones de Airbnb promueven un turismo sostenible en Barcelona. Esperamos poder trabajar con las administraciones en Barcelona, Cataluña y España, para crear un diálogo constructivo acerca de los beneficios de compartir casa así como de la necesidad de una regulación razonable que se adapte a la innovación.

BCNGuestSurvey_SPA (2)-page-001

 

The Airbnb Community’s Impact in Montreal

English | Français |

We regularly share updates about the positive economic impacts the Airbnb community has around the world. Today we released a new study in Montreal, our first study in Canada, which found that the Airbnb community contributed C$54.6-million in total economic activity in one year alone. The study also examined the environmental and social benefits that come from traveling with Airbnb.

Similar to previous studies, we found that travelers who use Airbnb enjoy longer stays and spend more money in Montreal. Guests who travel with Airbnb are also more likely to stay in areas outside of typical tourist zones, frequenting local businesses and contributing to neighbourhood economies. These interactions not only offer economic benefits, but also build community and foster cultural exchange.

Additionally, this type of travel results in significant reduction of energy, water use, and waste generation, and encourages sustainability among both residents and visitors in Montreal.

Some of the highlights of the study include:

  • The majority of Airbnb hosts rent the homes they live in to visitors on an occasional basis, and nearly half the income they generate is spent on living expenses (rent/mortgage, utilities, and other bills) and to help them make ends meet.

  • Airbnb guests in Montreal stay an average of 5 nights and spend $909 over the course of their trip, compared to typical visitors who stay an average of 2.7 nights and spend $760.

  • 36% of Airbnb guests said they would not have come to Montreal, or stayed as long, without Airbnb.

  • Guests are looking for authentic experiences: 89% say they want to “live like a local,” and 85% use Airbnb to explore specific neighborhoods because of their preferences for “off-the-beaten-path” experiences.

  • Guests are looking for a cultural exchange: 60% of Airbnb guests visiting Montreal come from outside of Canada, and 95% of guests visit from outside of Quebec Province.  80% of Airbnb guests do not speak French as their primary language.

  • Airbnb is complementary to the existing tourism industry in Montreal. 85% of Airbnb properties in Montreal are located outside the central hotel corridor.

  • Airbnb’s business model is designed to help promote efficient use of existing resources, as well as environmentally friendly ways of travelling. By staying in Airbnb properties instead of traditional accommodation options, it was estimated over the one year period that savings were the equivalent in energy use of 620 homes and water reduction was equivalent of nine Olympic-sized swimming pools.

We look forward to continuing to work with leaders in Montreal, and around the world, to make cities even better places to live, work, and visit. For more information, check out the press release.

L’impact de la communauté Airbnb à Montréal

Nous partageons régulièrement des mises à jour au sujet des retombées économiques positives de la communauté Airbnb dans le monde. Aujourd’hui, nous avons publié une nouvelle étude à Montréal, notre toute première au Canada!  L’étude dévoile que la communauté Airbnb a contribué à hauteur de 54.6 M$  en activités économiques en seulement un an. L’étude examine également les bénéfices sociaux et environnementaux reliés à cette nouvelle façon de voyager avec Airbnb.

De façon similaire à nos études précédentes, l’étude montréalaise dévoile que les voyageurs Airbnb séjournent plus longtemps et dépensent davantage à Montréal. Les voyageurs Airbnb sont également plus susceptibles de demeurer en dehors des secteurs touristiques traditionnels. Du coup, ils fréquentent des commerces locaux et contribuent à dynamiser l’économie de ces quartiers. Ces interactions offrent non seulement des bénéfices économiques mais consolident également les communautés et favorisent les échanges culturels.

Par ailleurs, l’étude démontre également que cette façon de voyager favorise une réduction sensible de la consommation d’énergie, d’eau et de la production de déchets et encourage un comportement écoresponsable auprès des résidents et des visiteurs.

Voici quelques faits saillants de l’étude :

  • La majorité des hôtes Airbnb à Montréal partagent occasionnellement le domicile dans lequel ils habitent et près de la moitié des revenus engendrés sont utilisés pour couvrir les dépenses courantes du ménage (loyer/remboursement d’un prêt immobilier, factures, alimentations, etc.) et les aident à joindre les deux bouts.

  • Les visiteurs Airbnb séjournent en moyenne 5 nuits et dépensent 909$ durant leur séjour, comparativement aux visiteurs traditionnels qui demeurent en moyenne 2.7 nuits et dépensent 760$.

  • 36% des visiteurs Airbnb ont mentionné qu’ils ne seraient pas venus ou seraient restés moins longtemps à Montréal sans Airbnb.

  • Les visiteurs sont en quête d’une expérience authentique : 89% ont dit souhaiter « vivre comme les locaux» et 85% ont séjourné avec Airbnb pour découvrir différents quartiers car ils préfèrent sortir des sentiers battus.

  •  Les voyageurs souhaitent vivre un échange culturel : 60% des voyageurs Airbnb ayant visités Montréal  proviennent de l’étranger ou de l’extérieur du Canada et 95% des voyageurs sont de l’extérieur du Québec.  80% d’entre-deux ne parlent pas le français comme langue maternelle.
  • Airbnb est complémentaire à l’industrie touristique déjà existante à Montréal. 85% des résidences Airbnb à Montréal sont situées à l’extérieur des quartiers hôteliers traditionnels.
  • Le modèle d’affaires d’Airbnb contribue à promouvoir une utilisation responsable des ressources existantes ainsi qu’une façon de voyager respectueuse de l’environnement. En séjournant dans une résidence Airbnb plutôt que les options d’hébergement traditionnel, on estime que les voyageurs Airbnb ont contribué à une économie d’énergie équivalente à 620 maisons et une économie d’eau équivalente à neuf piscines olympiques.

Nous sommes très enthousiastes à l’idée de continuer de travailler étroitement avec les décideurs à Montréal et partout dans le monde pour faire des villes des endroits où il fait encore meilleur vivre, travailler et voyager!

Pour plus de renseignements, jetez un œil au communiqué de presse.

Working Together on New Proposals in Chicago

Earlier this year, we began collecting tourist taxes from guests on behalf of our hosts in Portland, Oregon and San Francisco, California.

This week, we wanted to share that we are also working together to collect and remit these taxes in Chicago, Illinois. Over the past few months, we have been meeting with city and state policymakers to discuss this program. On Monday, the Chicago City Council Finance Committee approved an ordinance to make it possible for home sharing platforms to collect and remit taxes on behalf of hosts and guests in the city. The ordinance will move to the full Chicago City Council later this month and we look forward to supporting this proposal and continuing to work together with local leaders in the months ahead.

We know our community already has contributed substantial positive economic benefits in Chicago, and this is another way to continue to make the city even stronger.

Moving Forward With Smart Rules in France

Earlier this year, we began collecting tourist taxes from guests on behalf of our hosts in Portland, Oregon and San Francisco, California. Today, I’m happy to announce that we are working with the French government to implement a similar program in France.

In March, the President of France signed into law “Bill ALUR”—new national housing legislation. The law clarifies that wherever you live in France, you can occasionally rent out the home in which you live.

Under French law, hosts are responsible for collecting tourist taxes from their guests. We remind all of our hosts to follow these rules, but we know that this process can be confusing —  hosts collect from each traveller and then travel to their local city hall to pay the tax, even if they merely rent a room in their home one night a year. We want to make this process easier for hosts and ensure the local authorities collect all applicable taxes.

Along with other companies, we’ve been speaking with the French government about creating a new process that would make it easy for Airbnb to collect and remit taxes from guests on behalf of our hosts.

Last week, Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, announced that the government would propose an amendment to Finance Legislation scheduled to be considered by the French Parliament later this year that would help peer-to-peer platforms to implement this kind of collect and remit process. The amendment hasn’t been finalized or voted on and the exact details are still being worked out, but we know that this kind of common sense proposal would be beneficial for everyone and we look forward to working together as the proposal moves forward.

Update from London

Across the world we regularly hear first-hand accounts of how embracing the sharing economy is making cities more affordable for families and helping them to make a modest – yet significant – income from the homes in which they live.

A well-respected think tank has now called on the next Mayor of  London to make promoting the sharing economy one of their top priorities. Here’s what the Centre for London had to say:

London government should make a priority of realising the potential of the web‐based collaborative or ‘peer‐to‐peer’ economy

They [companies like Airbnb] offer more sustainable and often more sociable, as well as more economic, ways of living. They can help make life, in what is for many a very tough city, a little easier.

London is known across the world for its innovation and entrepreneurial spirit and we are delighted that the UK Government has already announced its intention to place the country  “at the front and centre” of the global sharing economy. London is in a great position to lead that charge.

Enabling the sharing economy to grow will enable the growth of innovation and entrepreneurship in the Capital. We already know that more than 40 percent of UK hosts on Airbnb are self employed, freelancers or part-time workers. They regularly tell us that home sharing is enabling them to pursue their careers and helping them to meet the costs of living in one of the most expensive cities in the world.

The 2016 Mayoral election campaign hasn’t begun yet – but it’s a great time for the Centre for London to be laying out its ideas. We now look forward to working with everyone in London on these issues, and sharing the stories of numerous Londoners who are benefiting from sharing their homes.

Great News from Australia: Airbnb Partners with Victorian Government to Prepare for Emergencies

In March of this year we announced new initiatives with the goal of helping civic leaders and our community create more shareable, livable cities through relevant, concrete actions and partnerships.

We are thrilled to share that we will be working with the State of Victoria, Australia to help make this community stronger and more resilient. As a first step in our work together, Airbnb will partner with Emergency Management Victoria (EMV) to prepare our community of hosts in Victoria to provide free accommodation in the event of a significant emergency.

Airbnb will also work with Emergency Management Victoria before, during, and after disasters to help more residents during an emergency. Specifically, Airbnb and Emergency Management Victoria will work together to:

  • Identify Airbnb hosts who will commit to opening their doors to displaced persons and emergency services workers and volunteers when an emergency occurs and accommodation options are required or limited.
  • Provide emergency preparedness educational materials and facilitate access to community education programs for Airbnb hosts to ensure that they are well prepared within their communities.
  • Use Airbnb technology to notify hosts and guests about significant emergencies and that the Airbnb Disaster Response Service is available.

Building upon our work in other cities, this new partnership will help our community collaborate with regional disaster relief organizations in advance of an event, reach a broader audience and help more people during an emergency.

We are also working with the Victorian Government to explore opportunities to support Victorian entrepreneurial communities, so that more residents of Victoria can benefit from the sharing economy.

For more details, check out the press release here.

Historic Day For Home Sharing in San Francisco

This morning was a great one for our community and for the entire sharing economy, as San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee signed into law legislation that makes it fair to share in San Francisco. The new law in San Francisco is a great victory for everyone who wants to share their home and the city they love.

At the signing ceremony, Mayor Lee met with a number of home sharers and listened to their experiences as San Franciscans.

Today’s signing ceremony was the final step of a long process. The bill that was signed into law today represents the culmination of years of proposals, discussions, negotiations, hearings and votes by the Board of Supervisors.  Every interest group was heard from, every issue was raised. Legislative discussions rarely result in perfect solutions, but this is a stronger bill than it was when it started.

And the fundamental nature of the new law – one that legalizes home sharing for the vast majority of our San Francisco hosts, those who simply rent out their own home on an occasional basis – is a huge step forward in San Francisco and echoes what we have seen around the world.

As more and more people learn more about Airbnb, home sharing and the sharing economy, they are seeing how our community make cities better places to live, work and visit. Home sharing is here to stay, and policymakers are looking at old rules — some of which were drafted before the internet even existed — and enacting some commonsense regulations for home sharing.

Every city is different, so there’s no one size fits all policy, but we’re incredibly encouraged by the progress we’re seeing around the world. Here are just a few examples:

  • Portland: The City Council unanimously approved sensible legislation making it easier for many Portlanders to share their homes.

  • Barcelona: Earlier this month, Catalonian Minister for Enterprise Felip Puig announced that “the sharing economy has arrived to stay,” and launched the Government of Catalonia’s new effort to study the sharing economy and develop new rules for home sharing.

  • France: In March, the President of France signed into law “Bill ALUR”—new national housing legislation. The law clarifies that wherever you live in France, you can rent out the home in which you live.

  • London: The government announced that they’ll be reviewing a key section of that 40-year-old law—the Greater London Powers Act—that governs home-sharing in London. Housing Minister Kris Hopkins that some portions of the law are “outdated and unworkable” and we are pleased to see the Minister working towards a “fairer, more flexible private rented sector.”

  • Amsterdam: The Amsterdam City Council gave final approval earlier this year to a new policy that embraces home sharing and makes Amsterdam a pioneer in the global sharing economy. The policy makes it easy for local residents to share the home in which they live, while simultaneously cracking down on illegal hotels that abuse the system.

  • Hamburg: Under a law enacted by the City of Hamburg, it is entirely legal to use Airbnb to rent out a private room or to occasionally rent out your primary residence, and you do not need to take any action or apply for a license from the government.

The lesson from these examples is simple: when we all work together, we can come up with some sensible rules of the road. We’re meeting with more leaders and community members in cities around the world and we’re confident that as they learn more about the sharing economy, they too will draft and pass policies that protect the public interest and ensure the sharing economy continues to thrive.

Working Together in Victoria, British Columbia

On this blog, I regularly write about communities around the world that are embracing home sharing and the benefits it brings to cities.

This week, I wanted to share good news from the City of Victoria, British Columbia, where local leaders said they plan to work together with Airbnb to develop innovative policies around home sharing.

Acknowledging the economic and social benefits of this activity, City leaders outlined steps to revise and streamline policies around short-term rentals and harness these benefits. Stating that “Models like Airbnb appear to be here to stay,” the City identified areas where we can work together moving forward, including:

1. Looking to adapt and evolve as and where necessary the wording of our relevant zoning and bylaws [to] cover the needs of those home owners providing their homes for short term rentals through sites such as Airbnb

2. Working to ensure a more even playing field for short term accommodations by evolving towards a fair taxation approach

3. Working to ensure that Airbnb listings are available for emergency accommodations if required in the event of a disaster

4. Shared promotion of the city and neighbourhoods and local businesses as a leading tourist destination.

We are excited to work together with local leaders in Victoria to create more shareable, more livable neighborhoods through relevant, concrete actions and partnerships and we look forward to building on these experiences with more cities around the world.