Across the country it’s no secret that Hotel Unions and Trade groups are coming out opposing vacation rentals. Traditionally the Hotel Unions and the Hotel Lobby are adversaries but on this issue they are locking arms and doing whatever they can to ban short term rentals across the country. The hotels see short term rentals as bad for business (which the data doesn’t really support) and they have convinced the unions the same. But nothing could be further from the truth and it all comes down to basic economics.
Economics is the social science that studies the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services. And the services hotel and hospitality workers across this country provide is subject to the very same rules that any other service line is. Their jobs are useful and necessary and every one of them should want more vacation rentals out there. Why? Because there isn’t much overlap between hotel guests and vacation rental guests. Guests who stay in vacation rentals want a kitchen and common areas like living rooms, they’re families and larger groups who just couldn’t afford to replace their vacation rental accommodations with a hotel. Many vacation rental guests also don’t want to stay in the touristy areas that hotels are generally in, they want to stay in neighborhoods close to friends and family. Which brings us to the other points, a large portion of vacation rental guests just aren’t on vacation. They’re the friends and family of neighbors and they chose vacation rentals for proximity.
So if there isn’t much overlap that means vacation rentals represent a net increase in tourism in most cities and if there’s a net increase in tourism then there’s a net increase in jobs. Vacation rentals employ some of the same types of workers that hotels do, such as housekeepers, engineers, even concierges in some places. And if there are more of these jobs available then the laws of supply and demand kick in and wages for these types of jobs go up. Workers can demand better wages and working conditions . Hotel workers flourish right along with vacation rentals and hotels. Eliminate the demand for these jobs and you have an over-supply of labor with the hotel in control of wages and working conditions. It’s just basic economics.