Friday, April 14, 2017

Why would a tourist city short of hotel space restrict short-term rentals?

by Jared Mayer, The American Spectator - Places like Nashville, Tennessee, should love short-term rental platforms like Airbnb or HomeAway. For one, the city has a booming tourism industry but remains short of enough hotels to meet surging demand. This is why Nashville’s downtown has the highest average nightly hotel rate in the United States — ahead of cities like San Francisco and New York City.

.... Unfortunately, rather than craft laws that embrace innovation and make it easier for both residents and tourists, Nashville’s government has unbelievably placed arbitrary limits on short-term rentals. Now, it is time for the state of Tennessee to step in and curtail Nashville’s war on innovation.

....  Airbnb’s presence in Nashville is helping to address a serious issue. Nashville currently dishes out millions of taxpayer dollars to incentivize hotel building, due to its hotel shortage. In this climate, Nashville policymakers would be wise to embrace the opportunity Airbnb and other short-term rental platforms offer to their community. Instead, they limit this technology’s potential in order to satisfy the demands of loud special interests.

.... state lawmakers should take this decision from a city council’s hands that have shown no respect for property rights. There is no reason for policymakers to be afraid to rein in cities that limit the economic opportunity that comes from technological progress. (link)

My Comment: I agree.

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