Airbnb says they are not the issue in regards to Whistler’s employee housing shortage, but they are happy to continue the conversation.

In response to the Resort Municipality of Whistler’s anti-Airbnb sentiment, Airbnb says the employee housing issue in resort municipalities has been an issue for many years and pre-dates the company. In October Whistler Mayor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden said that having Airbnb creeping into neighbourhoods was “not acceptable”.

Airbnb Canada Public Policy Manager, Alex Dagg says they are happy to continue to have a dialogue with Whistler. She says it’s important that Municipalities engage with what the role of home sharing is all about. “We believe in trying to be good community partners to discuss the best way to look at this growing trend. We’ll continue to partner, share our data about the community with Whistler, city officials and so forth.” She hopes they can come up with constructive solutions.

Airbnb says that in British Columbia the typical host ‘home shares’ 42 nights a year, just over 4 nights a month. That number is slightly higher in Vancouver.

When someone stays in a hotel a ‘tourist tax’ is charged but only applies in B.C. if you have more than four listings, therefore it doesn’t usually apply to Airbnb users. Dagg says it’s common for them to collect a tourist tax; “We actually have agreements in more than 200 jurisdictions to collect and remit tourist taxes, and we’re happy to contribute and pay our fair share where there’s a scenario where we can do that”.

Airbnb has had conversations with the B.C. government saying that if the province were to remove the exemption, the company would be happy to collect and remit the tax on their platform.

Airbnb say they generated $402 million in local economic activity and saw 267,000 guests in Vancouver in the last year.


Photo Credit: Open Grid Scheduler /

Filed under: Airbnb, Housing, Mayor, Rental, Resort Municipality of Whistler, RMOW, Whistler