HAC, provinces and cities are back on the Hill

Saskatchewan delegates from left: Jim Bence, SHHA president & CEO; Tracy Fahlman, CEO, Regina Hotel Association; and Conservative MP for Souris-Moose Mountain, Robert Kitchen.

Saskatchewan delegates from left: Jim Bence, SHHA president & CEO; Tracy Fahlman, CEO, Regina Hotel Association; and Conservative MP for Souris-Moose Mountain, Robert Kitchen.

OTTAWA — Representatives of the Hotel Association of Canada, plus provincial and municipal association heads, attended the second annual Parliament Hill Day on Oct. 2, meeting with high-level government officials to discuss the pressing issues of short-term rentals and labour shortages.

A major focus of the press conference, led by Alana Baker, HAC’s director of government relations, along with Xavier Gret of Association hôtellerie Québec, was to highlight the need for sensible, fair rules around short-term rental platforms, including taxation and platform regulation. 

That day, the Hotel Association of Canada (HAC) released new research highlighting that Canadians from coast to coast have serious reservations about the impact of short-term rentals, like Airbnb, on their communities.

“Canadians clearly disagree with the notion that Airbnb and other short-term rental platforms help create vibrant communities,” said Baker. “In fact, only one per cent think that platforms like Airbnb have a positive impact on the quality of life in their communities. One in two Canadians would personally feel less safe if short-term rentals were located in their neighbourhood.”

Overall, more than 60 per cent of Canadians are concerned or somewhat concerned about a neighbouring home being regularly rented out through an online short-term rental platform like Airbnb. This concern is shared across the country, with the highest levels coming from respondants in Ontario (69 per cent) and British Columbia (65 per cent). This is driven primarily by the perceived unfavourable impacts on neighbourhood quality of life and on personal safety.

Interestingly, these concerns were shared across age groups, including among millennials. Fifty per cent of respondents aged 18-34 personally would feel less safe with short-term rentals in their neighbourhood.

“These results demonstrate Canadians’ clear preference for tangible limits on the amount of time that neighbouring homes and condos can be rented out through platforms like Airbnb,” continued Baker. 

“Nearly one quarter of all Canadians think that homes should never be able to be rented out through platforms like Airbnb, and half think that they should be rented for no more than 30 days per year. People want to know who their neighbours are on a nightly basis.”

This study comes as governments across Canada are considering regulations and licensing requirements for online short-term rental platforms. The Hotel Association of Canada recently released best practices guidelines for such regulations, including platform and host registration, taxation, minimum health and safety requirements, and limits on how frequently homes can be rented.

“Airbnb and similar online short-term rental platforms have an impact beyond the host that rents out a property and the person that stays there,” concluded Baker. “It’s important that regulators and elected representatives consider the effect that these platforms have on the community and its members as they move forward to consider regulations. Canadians have a right to feel safe and comfortable in their neighbourhood, and that should be a priority for governments.”

The study, conducted by Nanos Research between August 25th to 27th, was a hybrid telephone and online random survey of 1,000 Canadians, 18 years of age or older. The margin of error is +/-3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

The full report is posted online at http://bit.ly/HACNanos.