Cities use Airbnb City Portal to set short-term rental rules

A year ago, Airbnb launched City portal, a platform for cities and local governments to provide data, tools and resources to take action on short-term rentals in their jurisdictions. Since then, 100 partner cities, including Sacramento, California; Miami-Dade County, Florida; New Orleans, Louisiana; and other cities, began to use the platform.

The way it works is that cities can access the city portal dashboard to receive information on the characteristics of the short-term rental market and to deliver tourism tax revenues where tax agreements have been established.

From this information, city authorities can see where customers are coming from, adjust tourism marketing, and develop and manage short-term rental policies and regulations.

Governments with applicable short-term rental laws can also use City Portal to display Airbnb listings in their check-in systems.

“As of November 2020, we have responded to over 1,000 enforcement requests from City Portal compliance tools partners,” said Chris Lehane, Global Communications and Policy Manager, Airbnb via email.

For example, in Sacramento, City Portal was used to implement the city’s short-term rental registration requirement. Additionally, city officials were able to enforce the laws by taking action against ads violating city regulations through the platform.

“Airbnb worked with us to integrate their City Portal with our short-term rental registration requirements,” said the Mayor of Sacramento, Darrell steinberg, in a report. “I wish other platforms would go as far as Airbnb needs to make sure we have what we need to enforce our short-term rental laws.”

Kauai County, Hawaii also used the platform in a similar fashion. “City Portal works much like a backdoor to Airbnb’s platform that our app team can use to query listings and directly access ads and other relevant data,” says Kaaina Hull, director. of the Kauai County Planning Department.

Regarding the changes the platform has seen over the past year, Lehane said that after starting with 18 pilot partners last September, the platform has grown to include 100 partner cities. in the world.

“The City Portal was born at the height of the pandemic last September, but the product has been built on the basis of years of feedback working with local governments,” he said. “Since 2015, Airbnb has sought to work to develop and support regulatory frameworks.”

During this period, he added, Airbnb has helped advance more than 1,000 regulatory frameworks for short-term rentals, including in 70% of their top 200 geographies, and has raised and paid more $ 3.4 billion in tourism taxes.

As for what’s next, Lehane said, the goal is to have more than 250 City Portal global partners by September 2022.

Katya Maruri is a writer for Government Technology. She holds a BA in Journalism and an MA in Global Strategic Communications from Florida International University, and over five years of experience in the print and digital information industry.

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