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Airbnb: A partner for cities?

Jonathan Andrews spoke to Nick Papas, Director, Public Affairs, Airbnb, about how the home-sharing site is becoming more flexible in dealing with cities and reveals how the privately held company has no plans to ‘go public’

In December 2016 Airbnb reached new agreements with cities like New Orleans, Amsterdam and London which include provisions on sharing data with city officials and enforcing city laws on Airbnb members by restricting the number of days they can rent out entire homes. What prompted the new approach?

Airbnb is eager to work with officials at every level of government toward smart, forward-looking rules for home sharing. In just eight years, we have collaborated with hundreds of governments worldwide.

In November 2015, we launched the Airbnb Community Compact, outlining a set of policy principles and commitments guiding how we engage with communities around the world. The commitments include:

Paying our fair share of hotel taxes and working with communities to put in place rules that support each community’s specific policy needs. Sharing data by regularly providing information about our community to cities and other jurisdictions in which we operate, in a manner that is consistent with our privacy obligations.

In the year since the Compact was announced, we have followed through on these obligations and in 2016, we offered insights gained, lessons learned, and policy options developed through these hundreds of collaborations across five continents by releasing the Airbnb Policy Tool Chest, a resource for governments to consider as they draft or amend rules for home sharing.

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