The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop
When my mother died, we converted her apartment above our garage into an Airbnb rental. We live in a very rural remote area with a county population of 4000 and most tourism has always gone east or west of us, closer to the interstate corridor or the coast. Several people in our area have Airbnb rentals and we find we are attracting people who like where we live. They are looking for peace, quiet, and beautiful scenery and don't need a night life. They shop locally, go to local restaurants, stop in at our local brewpub. In short, they support our local economy. Our area is building as a tourist destination, just for being itself. We earn $400 to a $1000 dollars each month to supplement our retirement income. Sometimes guests volunteer to help on our microfarm! We pay taxes on our earnings at the local, state, and federal level. Airbnb's mutual feedback process ensures that we keep up the quality, cleanliness, and safety of what we offer and that guests who stay "go easy" on our place because if we give them poor feedback, other Airbnb hosts will not want to consider them. It's a great system that works. We're thankful, very thankful, for the personal income and the increase in tourist dollars spent in our area.