Hotel lobby group launches campaign against short term vacation - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Hotel lobby group launches campaign against short term vacation rentals

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SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) – A new campaign against short term vacation has popped up one week before Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s proposed regulations are set to go before the San Diego City Council.

The campaign claims short-term vacation rentals (STVRs) are making communities unsafe and driving up housing costs. The campaign has already targeted Airbnb type home sharing sites with ads on television, radio and digital platforms.

Share San Diego, which has its own ads supporting STVRs, said the new campaign ads are lies and absurd. “I was shocked these advertisements are nothing but inaccurate statements and fear mongering,” said Matt Warren, with Share San Diego (Warren also does public relations for HomeAway).

The California Hotel and Lodging Association said it spent a quarter of a million dollars on the mother’s one-minute ad and a 30-second ad with former lifeguard chief in Pacific Beach. “Airbnb is making our communities less safe and depleting housing for vital workers like emergency responders,” said Chris Brewster with It’s Time San Diego, in the ad.

A spokesperson for CH-and-LA said in part:

“This campaign is to raise awareness about the dangers of short-term rentals and urge the San Diego City Council to pass protections to safeguard our communities."

Warren said, “I know the platforms take great care of screening and making sure are safe."

News 8 spoke to former Lifeguard Chief Chris Brewster who joined the new campaign as part of the San Diego community working group on STVRs. He said it is a David versus Goliath because they do not have the money to lobby. “What we do other than ally with people who are like-minded,” he said.

Mayor Faulconer’s proposal requires mandatory licensing, a good neighbor policy and fees to fund code and compliance along with affordable housing.

The following is Airbnb’s statement:

“The hotel cartel is once again using scare tactics to ignite fear among San Diegans. Unlike hotels, Airbnb performs background checks on every host and guest. Thousands of San Diegans short term rent their home or private bedroom because it allows them to make ends meet. For hotels, the fact that local residents earn valuable extra income and pocket 97% of the earnings is threatening and reason enough to instill fear and opposition in the community.”

The following is Expedia’s statement:

“Fair and effective short-term rental policies are crafted through collaboration and compromise not misinformation and scare tactics. For over a year short-term rental owners, managers, platforms, neighbors and policymakers have worked towards finding a compromise. It is unfortunate that this group is trying to detract from that responsible dialogue.”

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