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Graham Awards


Airbnb woos Labour saying short lets can be “lifeline”

Airbnb has taken the unusual step of buying space on an influential Labour Party website, just ahead of the party’s conference.

Amanda Cupples is general manager for Northern Europe at Airbnb and has written an extensive article on the Labour List website.

She says: “Across the UK, families are struggling with the increasing cost of living. Inflation remains high, and the price of everyday essentials is rising. Many have dealt with these challenges by cutting back, but some have tried to find ways to boost their incomes by picking up second jobs or using other imaginative ways to earn.


“Others have been able to offer a space in their homes by hosting on Airbnb, turning their greatest expense into an opportunity to help them manage soaring energy and mortgage costs.”

Turning to policy - and in the light of many Labour councils wanting restrictions on short lets - Cupples says: “We’ve been long-time advocates of reform for short-term lets regulations, carrying out research in 2021 … to design a Host register, to give communities the information they need to properly regulate home-sharing.”

She says the platform also has ideas on how to build “a robust system built on occupancy data sharing by booking intermediaries and operators. It’s so important that we seize this opportunity now to modernise the rules for our sector.”

Cupples also emphasises the economic importance of short lets, saying that research by Oxford Economics in 2019 estimated that spending by Airbnb guests supported 22,500 jobs in London, 1,000 in Bristol and Brighton and 5,000 across the south west in Devon and Cornwall.

And she concludes: “As well as being a critical time for the British economy, this is also a critical moment of reform for the tourism industry – and it’s important to get it right. New rules should focus on proportionate regulation of Short Term Lets, whilst preserving the vital benefits that this type of activity brings to Hosts, their guests and the communities they visit, all of whom depend on it amidst a challenging economic period.”

You can see her entire article here.


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