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Friday, July 30, 2021
Victorino signs agreements with Expedia and Airbnb to curb illegal TVRs
By News Release @ 10:40 PM :: 3337 Views :: Maui County, Law Enforcement, Small Business, Tourism

Maui County Mayor Michael Victorino signs agreements with Expedia and Airbnb to curb illegal TVRs

News Release from Maui County Office of the Mayor, July 30, 2021

Today Mayor Michael Victorino announced he has signed agreements with Airbnb and Expedia Group, parent company of short-term rental platform Vrbo. The agreements provide for platform cooperation with Maui County to help facilitate effective enforcement of Maui County laws that prohibit unpermitted vacation rental operations.

Permitted vacation rental businesses that comply with Maui County regulations and operate as good neighbors will be able to advertise on the online travel platforms without interruption.

Both platforms will now require host-provided tax map key numbers to appear on online listings for bed-and-breakfast homes, short-term rental homes and other transient vacation rentals within Maui County. 

If any operator provides TMK numbers that are incorrect, invalid, dropped or otherwise not applicable, the affected rental listing will be removed from both websites.

“Maui’s surge in new vacation accommodations in recent years has come primarily from vacation rentals, not resort hotels,” Mayor Victorino said. “The majority of vacation rentals are operated legally within apartment- or hotel-zoned areas as allowed by Maui County ordinance or permit. However, we will aggressively enforce laws that prohibit unpermitted TVRs that operate in residential neighborhoods. The new agreements with Airbnb and Expedia Group are important steps toward rooting out illegal vacation rental operators. It’s another tool in our tool box to help manage tourism sprawl throughout Maui County.”

Department of Planning Director Michele McLean added: “The County’s agreements with these two major hosting platforms will definitely fortify our enforcement efforts. We appreciate Airbnb and Expedia Group’s willingness to work with us to develop customized terms for Maui County that truly aid and support our ongoing enforcement program.”

Amanda Pedigo, Vice President of Government Affairs at Expedia Group said, “I would like to thank Mayor Victorino and his team for their guidance and leadership. Permitted vacation rentals are critical to Maui’s economic recovery and we’re proud to be working closely with Maui County to help manage tourism and crack down on any noncompliant operators.”

Matt Middlebrook, Airbnb Regional Policy Lead, said, “Vacation rentals have been an integral part of Maui’s local economy for decades, and we appreciate the County’s efforts to preserve this important source of income for local residents. The agreement will promote compliance and is part of our ongoing commitment to partner with communities to promote the return of responsible and sustainable travel.”

MOU steps for vacation rental platforms include:

  1.  Creating a mandatory field for displaying the government-issued Tax Map Key and Transient Accommodations Tax number of each property – without these numbers listed, a property will not be permitted on a platform
  2.  The TMK and TAT numbers will be displayed on the publicly facing property listing
  3.  Once MOUs are fully implemented, existing properties failing to provide TMK and TAT numbers will be deactivated and new properties will be required to provide their TMK and TAT numbers before being able to list on a platform
  4.  Expedia Group and Airbnb will provide monthly reports of the TMK numbers of properties on the platforms
  5.  The platforms will also remove noncompliant property listings upon County of Maui Department of Planning notice.

Expedia Group and Airbnb have also signed similar agreements with Kauai County and the City and County of Honolulu.

---30---

MN: Agreements beef up illegal vacation rental enforcement

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