Back in July 2015, Best Western CEO and president David Kong started writing a blog known as “It’s Personal“.
“As the name implies, I’ll take on issues that I’m passionate about,” Kong wrote in his opening piece.
That first article, titled Airbnb and the sharing economy, was Kong’s take on the omnipresent home-letting service, asking if Airbnb is a threat to hoteliers and the industry.
To Kong’s credit, he outlines – rather than dismisses – how Airbnb has emerged to become a major player in the industry, noting that “it is unlikely that this trend will be slowing down any time soon”.
Yet the long-serving boss of the chain (almost 12 years) doesn’t hide how he really feels about Airbnb.
- Taxation (“We pay hotel taxes, state, local and tourism taxes… there’s income, liquor and rental taxes, among others.”)
- Safety and compliance (“There remain tremendous gaps in regard to health, safety and disability compliance standards. Indeed, staying at an Airbnb room, or having an Airbnb guest living next-door, exposes one to a litany of risks that allows little in the way of recourse when things go terribly wrong.”)
- Local housing issues (“We should be concerned with commercial real estate landlords who buy up affordable housing to rent out on Airbnb. It is estimated that in New York City, in excess of 40% of Airbnb rentals belong to these landlords, who reaped nearly $175 million in the last year alone.”)
Kong then goes on to say that others should “follow New York’s lead” and impose fines on landlords who violate city legislation.
He ends with: