On January 16, Airbnb hosts descended on the Florida Capitol, determined to have their voices heard by legislators. To kick off State Tourism Week, over 130 hosts traveled to Tallahassee from across the state to support for two bills, SB 1400 and HB 773, which would strengthen Florida law and protect the rights of Floridians to earn extra income through their homes.
The day started with a rally on the steps of the Capitol. The hosts, some who boarded busses as early as 6:00 am coming from Tampa, St. Petersburg, Palm Coast, Jacksonville, Orlando, Kissimmee, Pensacola, Panama City and Destin, joined local hosts in Tallahassee for the day’s activities.
With bright and poignant signs providing an impressive backdrop, the rally featured State Senator Greg Steube (R-Sarasota) and State Representative Mike La Rosa (R-Osceola), who have introduced bills this legislative session that would protect the rights of hosts across Florida so they are able to share their homes with guests from all over the world.
After the rally, hosts worked their way through the Capitol, meeting with more than 25 legislators to share their stories and advocate for fair rules. In the meetings hosts shared with legislators their experiences housing people during hurricanes Irma and Maria and how hosting has allowed them to stay in their homes and make friends from all over Florida and the world.
Representative La Rosa closed the day by urging the host community to continue advocating for themselves and share their stories widely. He said, “Let them know you revitalize communities and welcome people from all over the world to the great state of Florida to Share our Sunshine!”