Airbnb is a sponsor of the meeting, and their head of global policy gave a speech to make his case to the mayors, but Airbnb’s mortal enemy also sent sponsorship dollars and a speaker to the meeting. The New York Times reports that the American Hotel & Lodging Association, an industry lobbying group, was also there to remind mayors that Airbnb hosts are really landlords renting places out full-time so they can cannibalize both affordable housing and the hotel business.
That’s all part of the short-term rental industry’s battle of statistics with the hotel industry, where their existential struggle is played out in the housing codes and rental regulations of cities across the country. A new proposal from the mayor of Chicago, for example, is a plan to register small-time hosts and impose a small tax, but also an admission that the city’s existing 2010 vacation rentals law that no one bothers to obey isn’t working.
Airbnb Takes Its Case to U.S. Mayors Conference [New York Times]