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Letters  

Airbnb in Kelowna

I am a Kelowna resident and Airbnb host. I saw the article posted on Castanet about Airbnb being illegal and that the city may be issuing licensing fees to host on Airbnb. 

Airbnb targets people that can't afford to stay in Kelowna’s very high priced hotels. Airbnb brings more tourists to Kelowna. People who are visiting and spending money in our community. Rather then giving all their money to 1 hotel, they are visiting attractions and restaurants, helping small businesses. 

For the host, it is a way to make extra income to be able to afford to live in Kelowna. I am a single, young professional (25, female) and it is challenging at times being able to afford owning a house here. Airbnb gives me extra income so I can enjoy the region and afford camping trips etc. If I didn't have my spare room on Airbnb I would have it rented out full time, so Airbnb does not add bodies or vehicles to my residence more than a full time tenant. 

Restricting or adding cost to Airbnb hosts will make prices increase which may deter guests. Or force hosts to earn less. Perhaps the city will have different rules for hosts sharing living spaces with owners, I hope. If so, I would like to be educated on this, because there is not more noise, or parties as I am always at the house with guests. 

Airbnb takes around a 3% cut, for that however, provide all the software, bookings, money transfers, disputes, damage depots etc. If the city charges me, what will I get from them? What will I get for giving them a cut from my sacrifices and work? Do they get money for nothing?

Airbnb is great for the community, helping the residents and bringing more money to the community. In addition to that, Airbnb is offering ways to help residents affected by the recent forrest fires. How nice is that? They are not a local company, yet going out of their way to help our residents! 

I think if these benefits were shared with people who are unfamiliar with Airbnb or made aware to the city, perhaps they would reconsider and maybe actually provide support to us trying to do a good thing. 

Carly Rogers



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