Travel Technology Industry Applauds Committee on Proactive Approach to Short-term Rentals
Maui County Council Planning Committee
Dear Members of the Maui County Council Planning Committee, August 13, 2015
The Travel Technology Association, whose membership includes short-term rental companies such as HomeAway, FlipKey, and AirBnB, writes today to express its support for PC 10 and the Planning Committee’s proactive approach to formalizing short-term rental regulation within the county of Maui.
Short-term rental technology companies have created a vibrant marketplace for travelers and property owners, expanding the travel landscape by offering alternative accommodations and providing economic benefits to communities around the world. The Planning Committee recognizes Maui County as one of those communities, and as such, is taking steps to enact public policy that allows both travelers and residents the ability to benefit from the immense travel and economic opportunities that short-term rentals provide.
The Travel Technology Association supports formal regulations that legalize short-term rentals, and in addition believes that owners, property managers or hosts should be required to register their property and pay the applicable local taxes. It is also important that regulations and requirements for registration and taxation are reasonable, affordable and easy to comply with, so that those interested in renting their property can easily understand and comply with the regulations. Expensive, onerous, and complicated registration and taxation schemes, including those that differentiate between the types of short-term rental properties permitted, will only be a deterrent to compliance. Making the process easy and reasonable will result in greater accountability and compliance by owners, operators, and hosts, leading to greater benefits for travelers, as well as Maui County.
It is imperative that cities, counties and states adopt sensible regulations that apply to all short-term rentals equally, so that travelers, owners, hosts and property managers, the city and the surrounding community can all benefit from the tremendous economic opportunity that short term rentals offer. Travelers seeking short-term accommodations should see Maui as a travel destination that embraces short-term rentals and is willing to offer travelers and their family’s choices when it comes to accommodations.
To date, the Maui community has been and continues to derive a very real economic benefit from the presence of short-term rentals and the travelers who occupy them. For travelers, it is the difference between living like a local or just visiting. Travelers choose short-term rentals for various reasons, including the need to accommodate larger families that would otherwise require multiple hotel rooms, travelers with special needs or special needs children, or simply a desire for more lengthy and affordable stays. Regardless of the reason travelers chose short-term rentals, numerous studies have shown that those in short-term rentals stay longer and spend more money during their travel versus hotel stays. The growth in demand for short term rental accommodations is exponential and well-documented.
We encourage the county of Maui to continue to work toward developing sensible short-term rental regulations like PC 10 that can be easily complied with owners, managers, and hosts. If regulations are enacted in this regard, the county and its communities have much to gain. We support the efforts of the Planning Committee and the policy changes proposed in PC 10.
The Travel Technology Association is available to Maui County as a resource as the county continues to develop its short term rental policies. We look forward to having the opportunity to work with you.
President, The Travel Technology Association