First short-term rental summit to be held in Vermont

Vermont: Vermont’s first Short-Term Rental Summit will be held in Brattleboro from 19-20 May. 

With more than 6,000 Vermont hosts currently operating short-term rentals, the summit is set to be an opportunity to learn, be inspired, and connect with other hosts in the state as well as industry experts.

The aim for the summit is to celebrate the success of short-term rental homes in Vermont; to support hosts in building sustainable business skills; and to further develop hosts’ hospitality skills.

Downtown Brattleboro Association (DBA) executive director Stephanie Bonin said: “Everyday short-term rental hosts shine as ambassadors in our community and for our state.

“The hosting platforms encourage and help welcome visitors who might otherwise have not heard about our small communities. They are a promotional megaphone that we simply couldn’t afford otherwise,” she added.

Online platforms such as HomeAway, Homexchange, and Airbnb are a driving factor in attracting more than 300,000 visitors to Vermont every year, bringing in more than $7 million in revenue and in rooms and meal taxes, as well as providing over 4,000 host families with supplemental income.

Those online platforms are part of a growing nationwide “shared economy” and attendees at the summit will learn about how rural areas are set to benefit from experiences in Vermont and other states.

Sharing economy advocate Robin Chase, who is also co-founder of the national car-sharing platform Zipcar, said: “What we’re finding, generally, is that people don’t feel the need so much to own an asset. What they really want is the use of the asset.

“We’re moving from an ownership economy to a use economy,” he added.

Chase has been named as the keynote speaker on 19 May, the first day of the summit.

Lisa Ford, the organiser of the summit, told the Brattleboro Reformer: “This summit will be the first opportunity for hosts to learn about self-regulation requirements and safety standards.”

The summit will feature sessions on state policies and regulations as well as how individual communities engage with short-term rentals to increase housing stock and improve their local economy.

Hospitality experts will share tips on improving guest experiences and the summit organisers are now calling for story submissions. Meanwhile, three Vermont hosts will be chosen to share their stories as part of a “lineup of experts”.

Tickets for the summit can be bought directly at the website here. Early bird pricing ends on Friday and interested parties are advised to sign up early as registration is limited.