The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop
My husband Kelly and I are airbnb hosts in Tucson, AZ. We are writing to encourage you to continue allowing this service to everyday people! We absolutely love using airbnb when we go on trips because it is economical and allows us to meet fun and interesting new friends. It enables us to go places that we could otherwise not afford. Being airbnb hosts has also been one of the best things we have ever done. We have met friends who we will probably stay in touch with for a lifetime, have been able to be there for people in need of a little support and friendship, and it has helped us pay our daughter's very expensive college tuition. My husband is a self-employed, hard working entrepreneur with a small website marketing company. I work full time for a local nonprofit that cares for 300+ foster children annually. We are both hard workers, but this economy has been difficult for us, especially with two kids in college. We looked into selling our home and downsizing, now that the children are grown, to help lower our bills. Then we heard about airbnb and on a whim listed the guest room in our house. We both enjoy meeting new people and entertaining so we thought it was worth a try. Hosting 3 different guest in the past 8 months has been incredibly helpful with extra income for college tuition and home improvements. We are in the process of finishing a room off our house into a studio apartment to have a better location to rent for airbnb than just the guest room. We have had 3 guests stay with us in the last year. The first was a gentleman who lived in Tucson but was going through a divorce and needed a place to stay for 3 weeks while his house was being settled. He stayed with us in October and we are still friends with him and see him almost weekly. We were there for him during a very tough time and he helped us be able to make some needed improvements to our home. Just recently we hosted a young woman our kids' age, 24, who is a traveling nurse. She stayed with us almost 3 months. It was a win/win. We had the extra income that we need, and she had a "family" to look after her and make sure she was ok. Her dad drove her out and was so happy to have a couple with similar views have his daughter at their home for the few months she was here. We are so excited about all that airbnb offers and do not want to see it go away due to pressure from hotel and other large travel-oriented corporations. This country is made strong by competition and although right now it may be difficult for hotels to compete with this new travel option, they will figure out a way to make it work as always happens when competition enters the arena. That will be good for the consumer. Don't take away our freedom to choose to stay with individuals and for individuals to host others in their own home. Thank you.