August 25, 2016
Internet-based short-term rental companies are doing more than competing with the traditional lodging industry, they also are cutting into the revenue that county and local governments receive from hotels, motels and brick-and-mortar rental firms. That was the message last Friday from Marriott International’s senior director of government affairs, Thomas Maloney, and Amy Rohrer, president and CEO of the Maryland Hotel & Lodging Association, at a discussion of online rental companies at the Maryland Association of Counties conference at the convention center. Marriott sponsored the afternoon session titled “Protecting people and communities amidst changes in the lodging industry.” “When we talk about the sharing economy and short-term rentals, I think a lot of folks think it’s an immediate oppositional position that we have,” Maloney said. “We’re here and we just want to have a conversation. The goal today is planting some seeds when you’re having these conversations back in your respective counties,” he said. The issue, he and Rohrer agreed, isn’t just so much the rapidly emerging competition, but that Airbnb and similar services are flourishing partly because they don’t have to shoulder the same regulatory and financial burden as traditional members of the lodging industry….