In December 2016, we released our Airbnb Policy Tool Chest, a resource for governments to consider as they draft or amend rules for home sharing. The Policy Tool Chest compiled a year’s worth of concrete lessons learned through partnering with governments under the three principles of: making data available; paying our community’s fair share of hotel and tourist taxes; and developing public policy solutions to help governments put in place new rules for this new activity.
Since we published the Policy Tool Chest in December, we have built significant momentum, forging new partnerships and agreements with governments and other communities around the world. In just the past week, we formalized a regulatory path enabling us to begin collecting and remitting taxes in Mexico City. We believe this approach will represent a model for use across Latin America and the May 11 announcement was attended by representatives of other Mexican states that are interested in learning more about the approach. We also signed an agreement with the US city of Memphis to begin collecting and remitting taxes there, and an agreement with the Brazilian city of Campina Grande to help it scale up its accommodations and take full economic advantage of its June St. John’s Festival, which brings 1 million visitors to the city annually.
The original Policy Tool Chest focused on four sets of policy options for consideration, including tax collection, being good neighbors, accountability, and transparency and privacy. We are pleased to provide this “2.0” update on progress made in several of these areas and others over the past six months:
RAPID EXPANSION OF TAX COLLECTION. As of May 15, Airbnb has entered into tax partnerships with more than 275 jurisdictions, and collected and remitted nearly a quarter of a billion dollars in hotel and tourist taxes globally, increases from about 200 jurisdictions and $110 million as of December 2016.
21ST-CENTURY ACCOUNTABILITY TOOLS. Airbnb teams including engineers and designers have developed a series of tools that streamline interactions between our hosts and our government partners, make compliance easier for hosts, and make enforcement easier for local administrators. New registration systems are now online, or coming online in a range of US and European cities, as are new products to help with enforcement. We also have introduced new measures to further protect our community from online scammers.
PROMOTING MORE SUSTAINABLE TOURISM. We have worked with local governments, NGOs and our host community to develop strategies that sensitively promote tourism beyond the most popular sights in cities, as well as in rural areas where less tourism infrastructure exists. And, we have helped governments take full economic advantage of hosting major events without building expensive new infrastructure. We were pleased to see the secretary-general of the UN World Tourism Organization recognize that home sharing “is bringing in new waves of travelers that have not been seen before.”