Airbnb users with Christmas bookings in New York City are facing uncertainty and are scrambling to find alternative accommodations due to the company’s decision to cancel and refund bookings for stays after December 1. This move comes in response to new regulations aimed at curbing illegal short-term rentals in the city, which went into effect on September 5.
The regulations require hosts to be present for stays of less than 30 days, with no more than two people staying in a dwelling at a time. Hosts must also register and gain approval from the city, with potential hefty fines for both hosts and booking sites if these requirements are not met. As a result, Airbnb’s short-term listings in New York City have dropped significantly, with a 77% decrease from June 4 to September 10.
This disruption in short-term rentals has led travelers to seek alternative accommodations, with a surge in hotel bookings. Kevin Davis, CEO of JLL Hotels & Hospitality’s Americas division, noted that hotel bookings for the coming months have seen a significant uptick, and Google searches for New York City hotels have increased by 24% in the past week.
Despite the increased demand for hotels, New York City boasts an ample supply of hotel rooms, with 10,000 new rooms delivered since 2020 and another 10,000 expected in the next couple of years. However, the surge in demand and limited short-term rental options are likely to result in rising hotel rates.
While New York City’s regulations are among the strictest, there is concern that other cities may follow suit and adopt similar measures. The impact of these regulations will likely be monitored in the coming months to determine their implications for the city and their potential influence on regulations in other locations.
Overall, the short-term rental market is undergoing a correction as leisure travel demand softens, and travelers are encouraged to book hotel reservations sooner rather than later to secure accommodations at favorable rates. Additionally, a decrease in airfares in the United States is expected to further boost travel demand in New York City and other destinations.