More than 70 hosts from Honolulu and the North Shore recently came together to launch two new home sharing clubs on the island of Oʻahu.
Home sharing clubs give hosts the opportunity to network globally, organize locally, and make their voices heard directly to policymakers. During these meetings, hosts trade advice, hospitality guidance, and political advocacy tools, while also learning more about local businesses and organizations they can recommend to their guests.
Hosts at the North Shore club launch discussed their personal home-sharing styles, trading expert hosting tips and best practices among one another while enjoying a delicious dinner from Waialua’s Paradise Fresh Food, a locally-owned and managed restaurant that prides itself on serving locally-sourced fresh, organic food.
“This club is a really important thing for the North Shore community to participate in,” said Angela, who’s been hosting for more than five years. “Because of the opportunities to meet real faces in our community, to share a meal and talk about stories that are personal and relevant are priceless to me, I now know I have a whole ʻohana here to draw support from.”
Hosts also talked about how to build more close-knit support networks for hosts on the island, advocate on behalf of one another, and create deeper connections with all members of the North Shore community.
Debbie, a retired Registered Nurse who’s been hosting on the North Shore for more than two years, discussed how local regulations are affecting the host community. “Our goals are to work towards being legal and being permitted, period,” she said. “The county needs to work with those of us who live here to do this the right way.”
“I now know I have a whole ʻohana here to draw support from.”
Down on the South Shore, hosts met in Honolulu’s historic Chinatown district at a local hotspot, Bar 35, for some light pupus, pizza, and the chance to share their favorite trip experiences.
Hosts from all over town connected and instantly began working to build a strong host network in Honolulu.
“The number of hosts that came, and everyone’s excitement about connecting, was really surprising,” long-time host Kathy said. “It felt really good to have all of the support from Airbnb, and our community here. I think that the more often our community can unite and stand together, the better we will be for it.”
Hosts also heard about the importance of sustainability in today’s world and learned how to practice sustainable home-sharing practices. Representatives from Sustainable Coastlines, the Surfrider Foundation, and Bikeshare Hawaii spoke to the group about the ways home sharing can positively impact the environment.
Kahi, from Sustainable Coastlines, spoke with hosts about efforts to clean up Hawaiʻi’s beaches. “Airbnb,” he said, “contains a diverse network of hosts that understand the need for clean beaches in Hawaiʻi, and the guests represent a base that can have a huge impact in reducing plastic waste.”
Kahi also enjoyed meeting the hosts. “These are people just like you and me,” he said, “trying to make it in Hawaiʻi while also sharing pure Aloha that helps sustain our ability to live in paradise.”
“The more often our community can unite and stand together, the better we will be for it.”
Justine told the hosts about Bikeshare Hawaiʻi, a not-for-profit organization working to promote bike-riding as a form of public transportation in Hawaiʻi. For her, bike sharing is about more than just sustainability: It’s a way for both locals and vacationers in Hawaiʻi to get better immersed in the community, and experience parts of the island they might overlook otherwise.
“You don’t meet anybody when you’re driving around in your rental car, but if you’re biking you’re going to run into people—local people, people visiting from another country—and there are so many points of potential interaction you miss when you’re driving.”
After the launch meeting ended, hosts Rob and Jen said “the club launch was a fantastic way to get to meet hosts in our community and our side of the island.”
“Our biggest takeaway was the togetherness of us all as hosts. When everyone is together, and we are all hoping and working for the same things, we can make change happen.”
Rob added on a positive note, “We are looking forward to more of these meetings in the future.”