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FL State Fights Local Govs, Vrbo Removes Itself From Google, Hawaii Tourism Decline

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Good news, it's Friday and Presidents Day weekend!

This week we had our Airbnb tax webinar. Caroline Robbins, Connectivity Partnerships Manager at Airbnb, showed how to properly configure your taxes and answered a lot of excellent questions. If you'd like to watch the webinar you can do so here. Also, make sure to check out our weekly demo webinars.  The next is scheduled for February 18th!

Tallahassee is back again fighting the local governments on the regulation of vacation rentals. This fight has been going on for years, but now the revival of a proposal by house and senate leaders has fueled the fire. The proposal would prevent cities and counties from inspecting and providing licensing for properties listed on platforms such as Airbnb. The measure would force listing platforms to collect and remit taxes, only allow properly licensed rentals and provide the state with information about the rentals. Currently the state of Florida has bans in place to disallows local governments from creating ordinances that would outlaw vacation rentals. Grab your popcorn - this is far from over! 🍿

In Expedia Groups earning call this week (you know, the people who run Vrbo) Expedia announced the removal of Vrbo from Google's vacation rental meta product. The reasoning behind this is to focus on driving direct traffic to the Vrbo website. Expedia also stated they had raised their performance marketing spend for Vrbo. Monkey see, monkey do? Airbnb removed their listing from Google back in August.  The irony is amusing... The major channels don't want Google interfering with their direct traffic but they have no problem interfering with your (PM and owner) direct traffic.

Hawaii has seen a significant decrease in short-term rentals. Due to the pandemic, the island of Oahu had the largest decrease of about 49%, which is about half as many as 2019. The overall rental supply on the islands has decreased about 43%. Even though Hawaii has reopened for tourism, experts say it could take years for the industry to recover. We wish the best of luck for those still listing in Hawaii.