Part of being a leading 21st century city means being able to quickly adapt to the changes that technology can bring to our community. A perfect example of this sort of change is the emergence of Airbnb and similar services and how they have greatly expanded short-term rental accommodation options in Kingston. In fact, there are now well over 500 Airbnb listings in the city, which is more than double the number that were available just one year earlier. In 2017, there were nearly 30,000 individuals that booked stays in Kingston through Airbnb and similar services.
There’s no question that the enormous growth in tourism in Kingston over the last few years has been a big driver of the expansion of Airbnb listings, with the vast majority of listings concentrated in neighbourhoods within walking distance of the downtown and most of Kingston’s premier tourist sites. With the number of visitors to Kingston increasing every year, it’s definitely important to have lots of different accommodation options available. However, while most hotels and motels are located in commercial districts of the city, Airbnb properties tend to be within residential neighbourhoods, and that means the city needs to have the right framework in place to ensure to both visitors and neighbours of Airbnb properties have positive experiences.
That’s why the city is working to develop a licensing system for short-term tourist and vacation rentals. City staff will be looking to develop guidelines on details like licensing fees, the number of rooms that can be rented within a single property, and the maximum length of stay permitted. To help make sure the city gets all of these details right, you can provide your input and ideas directly to city staff by completing this survey https://getinvolved.cityofkingston.ca/short-term-accommodations before March 26. There’s no doubt that with the right framework, we can ensure all tourists and visitors who come to Kingston will have a great experience no matter where they stay, which will help establish our city as one of the premier tourist destinations in the country!