Airbnb turns attention to other cities but would reopen talks with NYC

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According to New York City, the ongoing conversation on short term rental rules closed in August when a judge dismissed lawsuits filed by Airbnb and its hosts against new rules and the city moved ahead with implementation earlier this month.

In an interview Thursday as part of the Skift Global Forum, Airbnb co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky said he was “saddened” by the situation in New York and called it a “cautionary tale.” But he alluded that he is ready to re-open conversations with the city – once a key market in Airbnb’s early success – if city leaders are willing to do so.

“We always were willing to come back to the table if another side is,” Chesky said.

“But, you know, we are going to be working with cities all over the world and thousands of other cities have chosen to go in a different direction.”

The long term impact of the city’s decision to implement the rules that bar hosts from renting out full apartments and that require registration, among other stipulations, is yet to be seen. But even before the rules went into effect on September 5, thousands of New York City Airbnb hosts nixed their listings.

Chesky shared his thoughts on the outcome: He believes New York will become less affordable for travelers. “Next year, I think that hotel rates will be more expensive and the reason why: it’s not going to be building 20,000 more hotel rooms, so it’s going to be more expensive to stay in New York.”

Unsurprisingly, New York’s tourism authority has a different outlook.

Fred Dixon, president and CEO of New York City Tourism + Conventions, said during a separate conversation at the event that he’s not concerned about the STR restrictions’ impact on New York’s tourism economy.

“I think you have to just put it in context,” Dixon said, noting that travel costs are rising everywhere and that the new requirement for registration will bring the STR industry “in to line with local law.”

“We don’t see that there’s going to be an outsized impact,” Dixon said of the restrictions. “We think there are plenty of options in New York, and we don’t see that it will have an impact on the city’s affordability.”

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