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New Airbnb portal allows local governments to closely monitor listings

Last Updated Sep 23, 2020 at 1:24 pm EDT

VANCOUVER — Airbnb is launching a new program for cities and tourist organizations aimed at helping them ensure compliance with local rules.

Vancouver and Calgary are among the 10 North American cities included in the new portal, which Airbnb says will also aid in rebuilding post-pandemic tourism and providing technical support.

The short-term home rental company says the first phase of its City Portal directly connects local governments to the Airbnb platform,  providing real-time details about specific rentals and remitted tourist tax revenue.

It also includes a central location for resources, such as Airbnb’s neighbourhood support hotline and its law enforcement portal.

Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky says in a statement that the tool was created with the support of cities and the goal is to ensure it works well and responds to the needs of large and small communities.

Vancouver’s chief licence inspector Kathryn Holm says the city is grateful for the evolving partnership with Airbnb.

“The Airbnb City Portal provides us with important insights as we continue to monitor and regulate the short-term rental market in Vancouver, and the additional data will help us enforce our regulations,” she says in the statement.

Airbnb hosts in Vancouver require a short-term rental business licence and must meet other requirements in order to list on the home-sharing site.

Other cities involved in the pilot program include Buffalo, New Orleans, Palm Springs, Seattle and San Francisco. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 23, 2020

The Canadian Press