Airbnb at the U.S. Conference of Mayors

In 2015, Airbnb launched the Community Compact, a document based on our core principles and informed by the lessons we’ve learned about how best to partner with cities. In the Compact, we pledge to:

  • Treat every city personally and help ensure our community pays its fair share of hotel and tourist taxes.
  • Build an open and transparent community.
  • Promote responsible home sharing to make cities stronger.

As part of our work under this Compact, last week Airbnb attended the 84th U.S. Conference of Mayors’ Winter Meeting in Washington, D.C., to demonstrate our commitment to partnering with cities. The Conference of Mayors is attended by hundreds of mayors from across the U.S..

At the event, we released a new report outlining how the Airbnb community could contribute $2 billion in tax revenue to America’s cities. The report shows that Airbnb has already collected and remitted millions of dollars in tourism and occupancy taxes, and outlines the huge economic opportunity that Airbnb can present to municipalities.

That morning, Head of Global Policy and Public Affairs Chris Lehane addressed the conference (you can see his comments below) and pledged to work closely with cities to establish programs for collecting tourist, hotel and occupancy taxes. He noted that Airbnb is an economic lifeline for everyday people in cities across the U.S. – for families who share their homes, Airbnb offers a way to earn a little extra income and pay the bills.

Chris also highlighted how Airbnb democratizes travel: Airbnb guests stay in neighborhoods and parts of cities that typically don’t see much tourism activity. As he told the Mayors, “Airbnb guests want to travel to your cities, experience your neighborhoods, experience your culture, and most importantly, experience your people . . . We’re bringing people together. That’s why (Airbnb) is succeeding.”

We also provided city officials at the Conference with real, insightful numbers about the Airbnb community, available at their fingertips with the simple push of a button. This was the first time we’ve tested out this dashboard and we’re continuing to explore more ways we can share data about the Airbnb community while honoring our commitment to the privacy of our guests and hosts. Here’s one example of the information we shared from Philadelphia:

image00

And another example from Nashville.

image01

In the last two weeks, officials in places like New South Wales, Australia (home to Sydney), Denmark, and Sacramento have announced their intention to help establish fair, balanced rules for home-sharing in their cities. We look forward to continuing to work with cities and build on the tremendous progress we’ve made around the world.