Airbnb is an online marketplace for short-term vacation rentals, homestays, hotel rooms, apartments and hostels. Founded in 2008 as a technology start-up and headquartered in San Francisco, Airbnb recently completed a new round of funding totaling $1 billion. Listings of Hawaii rentals include cottages, guest houses, condominium apartments,studios, and individual rooms.
• What is Airbnb’s business model?
• How has Airbnb dealt with issues such as taxes, illegal rentals, problems with accommodations, and upset neighbors?
• What is the effect of nonhotel-staying tourists on Hawaii’s economy?
• How does the Trips app work, and what has been the response? What is its potential for changing the travel industry?
• What are Airbnb’s plans for the future?
Matt Middlebrook leads Airbnb’s policy efforts in Hawaii and San Francisco, working with legislators at both the state and local level on issues affecting short-term rentals. Prior to joining Airbnb, he was the executive vice president of development for Caruso, one of the largest privately held real estate firms in the United States. He has also served professionally as a political and communications strategist with senior roles in both the public and private sector. Matt is from California and lives with his family in San Francisco, where Airbnb is based.