Airbnb Sees Tripling in Pre-Comic-Con Rental Bookings

Property rental website Airbnb has seen a near tripling over last year for local reservations booked ahead of this year’s Comic-Con International, set for July 9-12 at San Diego Convention Center.

Alison Schumer, spokeswoman for San Francisco-based Airbnb, said nearly 2,200 reservations were booked on the site for 5,800 guests in nearly 2,000 San Diego market listings ahead of this year’s Comic-Con. That’s 70 percent more short-term rentals than the site normally sees for a typical weekend in San Diego.

In 2014, there were nearly 800 reservations made ahead of Comic-Con for 1,800 guests in nearly 700 listings by owners of houses and apartments.

In related news, Airbnb recently agreed to begin collecting San Diego hotel taxes for reservations booked in the city, starting July 15. City officials said Airbnb will automatically begin collecting transient occupancy taxes (TOT) and tourism marketing district assessments from guests using San Diego properties, then submit those funds to the city.

The city has recently been cracking down on Airbnb hosts who don’t collect the required 10.5 percent TOT and the minimum 0.55 percent tourism marketing district tax for short-term stays, currently collected from guests and remitted by local hotels.

The new San Diego agreement is similar to those that Airbnb has already reached with other large U.S. cities, including San Jose, Chicago, Portland, Ore., and Washington, D.C. The company is also working with officials in San Diego and other cities to address noise and other complaints generated in some neighborhoods by short-term renters.

“Airbnb is focused on making neighborhoods better places to live and visit, and part of that includes working with lawmakers to reach solutions that allow our community to pay their fair share while enabling people to share their homes,” company officials said in a statement.

“While there are still issues that require clarification in the city’s code, we felt it important to voluntarily collect and remit on behalf of our hosts in San Diego,” officials said.

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