Columbus projected to continue growth on home-sharing platform, yet city proposes new restrictions

By Caroline Favret, ’18

New York City, Orlando and Miami hold the number 4, 7 and 8 spots respectively for the most popular Airbnb cities worldwide for 2017, only behind cities such as Paris and Tokyo.

However, Columbus has also made one of the home-sharing platform Airbnb’s 2017 top lists. In the past year, bookings have nearly tripled.

According to an Airbnb report, midwestern cities such as Indianapolis (256 percent growth compared to Columbus’s 254 percent expected) are seeing some of the strongest growth, which is “driven by booming downtown districts humming with new restaurants, nightlife and local arts.”

Going into 2018, Columbus is expected to be one of the largest growing cities for U.S. Airbnb use, along with towns in close proximity to national parks. This correlates to the most prominent home type trend of nature lodge bookings (increasing by 700 percent).

Despite this, restrictions are being debated for Airbnb owners in the area.  Major cities across the U.S. have already put regulations in place pertaining to owners. In Oct. 2016, New Orleans banned almost all short term rentals in the French Quarter and limited home rentals to a maximum of 90 days a year, versus a full 365 days to earn extra income.

Columbus might follow New Orleans lead with a 90-day rule, a required owner’s permit at $75 a year with an additional $10 application fee and taxation at the hotel rate.

Public meetings for this decision will commence in February.