The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop #00759

Submission Number:
Deborah Sauls
Initiative Name:
The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop
I first was exposed to Airbnb when I was seeking lodging in NOLA close to where my son, his wife and my newly born grand-daughter were living. The rates were way beyond my budget [no less than $300 per night] so someone suggested I try Airbnb, which was foreign to me??? But... what an amazing experience. I found and rented a wonderful two bedroom apartment in the heart of NOLA, that was a short trolley ride to my son and NOLA's attractions; not to mention the MONEY I saved and the experience of sharing another artist's apartment; which by the way was an awesome hostess. Suffice it to say, "I was hooked!" And since then I knew Airbnb would be the FIRST place I'd google when seeking lodging while on vacation. But... I also began thinking about becoming an Airbnb host myself. And less than a year later when my Multiple Sclerosis became exacerbated, symptoms of numbness on my entire left side and my walking became a challenge (once again) and maintaining employment [as a learned/accredited Interior Designer] even more challenging... my neighbor [an Airbnb hostess] recommended that I try hosting myself to help with my expenses and also to use my gift of hospitality to be a blessing to others. I gave it try and in April 2015 I hosted my FIRST guests from Spain and I LOVED it and have not turned back! Since then I have hosted people/guests from Spain, Vienna, France, Georgia, the Philippines, Dominican Republic, New York and Chile! And in less than a two month time span?! And my future bookings/guests will be coming in from Germany, Missouri, India and Aussie. I would have NEVER EVER been able to meet, host, live with, let alone converse or connect with people from [literally] around the world if it were NOT for Airbnb! The greatest joys are being able to use my Interior Design skills and putting forth/offering a humble yet well designed and clean room/my home (and with special touches) JUST for them, USING my gifts and passion for hospitality. [REDACTED] Which gives me hope that although I rely on my Airbnb hosting to pay for my expenses [and truth be told, to also help me meet, mingle and learn about other cultures] I can go beyond the norm and continue to be a passionate designer and be the "bestest" Airbnb hostess I can possibly be.