Airbnb takes to Tallahassee TV to promote vacation rentals - Florida Politics

Airbnb takes to Tallahassee TV to promote vacation rentals

Airbnb is launching a television commercial this week in Tallahassee to convince Florida Legislators of the back-home support for vacation rentals, which again are facing the prospect of legislation over whether and how local governments can regulate them.

The new commercial running this week in the Tallahassee market, “Airbnb citizen,” features Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward talking about how vacation rental homes give visitors the “authentic experience” of tourism in Florida.

The ad is also being heavily promoted on social media throughout Florida.

As video shows some of the more quaint of Pensacola neighborhoods, screen text notes the average Airbnb host makes $6,700 a year in rentals, and that Airbnb vacation rental homes hosted 2.5 million visitors this year. “Our visitors have stayed in these neighborhoods and it makes the experience far more unique,” Hayward says.

Below the surface the legislative debate playing out in committee meetings may be between the vacation rental industry and its marketing giants including Airbnb and HomeAway, versus traditional hotels, motels and bed and breakfasts. But it’s also a debate between state government and county and local governments, with the county and local governments preparing again to defend counties’ and cities’ abilities to regulate vacation rental homes.

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at


  1. What about the neighbors losing their neighborhood to transient renters? People move to neighborhoods for community, not to live next to rotating groups of dozens of people in houses owned by investors. As the Chicago Tribune reported, 81% of Airbnb profits are from whole-house investor-owned properties. Soon, if some of the legislators have their way, neighborhoods zoned single-family will be full of short-term renters, who have driven out people who moved into a neighborhood for a sense of community.

    Emile Brinkmann, the retired Chief Economist of the Mortgage Bankers Association in DC, who spent years running a research group dedicated to housing said: “I cannot think of an action that would be more destructive to the fabric of neighborhoods and the well-being of homeowners than the legalization of STRs for the benefit of a few.”

  2. With the knowing traffic of travelers wanting to stay in Florida, constitutes earnings and taxation in the state. Vacation rental business creates jobs, building up the economy and foster tourism in Florida, and as well as on the most US states in which vacation rentals exists. Let’s not only focus on the limitations which is brought by this industry, rather we all extend hands to set to convert those limitations into strength, By then we will be to experience economic progress and continued business to its business partners. Please check to learn about vacation rentals.

    1. Self-serving response. Solicitation for business. Shouldn’t be allowed to post on the site.
      People who moved into communities that are zoned single-family want neighbors, not rotating groups of weekly/daily strangers. Think about Anna Maria Island – 20% of the residents have move out because they no longer have a community. No one is opposed to short-term rentals, but there is a place for them – and it’s NOT in communities zoned single-family.

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