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Kauai Gov. Makes Deal with Expedia and Airbnb to Get Booking Data, 5 cheap places to buy vacation rental property

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Happy 4th of July weekend!🎆🎖️

Conspiracy theorists, cover your eyes…. The Kauai government (Hawaii) made agreements with Expedia and Airbnb, which has been in the works for nearly a year, to track and regulate vacation rentals by directly sharing information about properties and bookings.

Last week, Mayor Kawakami signed a memorandum of understanding with Expedia Group requiring vacation rentals to display a government-issued tax map key, or TMK, in order to appear on the platform. Properties already listed without a TMK number have 60 days to provide one, or they will be deactivated. New properties must provide a TMK number prior to being listed. On Monday, Kawakami reached a similar agreement with Airbnb, who also signed a memorandum of understanding to require that its hosts provide a valid TMK. Airbnb has agreed to remove properties that do not comply. Expedia Group and Airbnb have both agreed to provide monthly reports to the county featuring the TMK numbers.

It was only a matter of time before this happened.  Governments are going to increasingly expect large booking platforms to give them direct insight into who is renting what, mostly so that they can verify who is paying taxes. #DirectBooking movement, anyone?  For the record, we encourage all of our clients to always follow local lodging laws and remit the correct taxes.

I wonder if those same governments will expect hotels to provide the same booking data?  Or is it assumed that, due to their size, hotels have to get business licenses and other things that make it difficult for them to avoid paying taxes or complying with lodging regulations?

Have you been looking to expand your vacation rental business? Here are the 5 cheapest places according to Forbes to buy real estate now:

  • Italy has become famous for towns giving away fixer-upper houses for a mere 1 euro each. The hook is that you need to invest money to fix up your new home, but if you’ve got the willpower, there’s no better deal anywhere.
  • Riviera Maya, Mexico has been transformed over the years from a sleepy backwater into a world-class vacation destination.
  • Uruguay has ocean-view half-acre lots along the stunning Atlantic coast for as low as $31,356, along with interest-free developer financing on the table: a manageable down payment followed by 48 monthly payments of $490.
  • Panama has become a global center of finance and commerce, plus it’s safe and stable. Due to a proposed change in the Panamanian tax code, some real estate developers are enjoying massive tax credits and passing the savings on to investors.
  • Medellín, Colombia has become a major regional player, with a steadying political environment, market-friendly policies, rich natural resources, strengthening trade ties and a modernizing economy. Big luxury condos in Medellin’s best neighborhoods can list for $100 per square foot.