Airbnb takes to Tallahassee TV to promote vacation rentals

Ashton Hayward

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

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 Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused.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 [email protected]


  • Paula

    December 4, 2017 at 10:35 pm

    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.”

    • Cindy Homfeld Realtor

      December 13, 2017 at 8:44 pm

      I am a realtor in Fl.
      New Smyrna Beach.
      Many of my customers use their houses and want to retire here. They bought a 2nd home and their renters are happy, respectable and also many end up buying and retiring here as well.
      Many renters come back year after year and know
      many of the neighbors.
      We are not talking nightly
      rentals. The hotels are here for them.
      The people here like cleaners, lawn people, pool companies,restaurants, waiters,waitresses, bartenders etc. All depend on tourists to make a living.
      The homes are still being used as a residential home.
      I think that home owners
      should have that right as tax payers and also as caretakers for their home to
      choose to rent if they would like. They take excellent care of these homes because of
      renting. Not something I have seen with1 year rentals.
      Even a member of our code eenforcement rented here before he bought.
      People need to be tolerant
      of other people’s rights.

  • Ex Castillo

    December 7, 2017 at 4:01 pm

    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.

    • Paula

      December 8, 2017 at 7:17 am

      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.

      • Cindy Homfeld Realtor

        December 13, 2017 at 8:53 pm

        Thank God our governor
        gave home owners the right to rent in every zoned area.
        Here we have 1 or 2 per street and most neighbors
        using them to have a place for their own families to stay when they visit. I think many people go beyond the realty
        of actual rentals . Peoplesell their homes for many reasons not just because of a rental property. That post above was asking you to to be open to both sides of the story not just for advertising.

  • Paula

    December 14, 2017 at 7:06 am

    81% of Airbnb’s profits come from entire home rentals – no owner at home; mostly investors. We have a house with 11 bedrooms on our street – owned by people who live outside the United States. Rent weekly with dozens of people. They are suing us because we want to limit the number of people in the house to something reasonable. No one cares if someone rents out a room or two to people on occasion while the owner is home.

    The election in Alabama shows what happens when people don’t listen to their constituents – the voters change their representatives. That is what will happen to Steube, LaRosa, and all the others who attempt to take away control from those they are supposed to be representing.

Comments are closed.


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