Hawaii is going to start cracking down on the campsite rentals that have been taking place through Airbnb. Apparently many people have taken to listing campsites on the rental site that range anywhere from $40 to $100 per night, that offer up amenities like beach access and even mattresses and bedding. However some of these listings are not technically legal and the Hawaii lawmakers are not happy about it.
This week the State senate passed legislation to cut down on the campsite rentals that are taking place. The issue is that is not legal to camp on many of the beaches in Hawaii, and in some places it requires a permit to do so. It is not legal to resell the permit to another person, which seems to be happening as people are offering up the luxury glamping spots to tourists.
According to the state Senator Laura Thielen, who oversees the Oahu district:
“Some of these campsites are not campsites. They’re just beach areas. The challenge is: How do you crack down on that?”
The bill that they decided to pass will make it more difficult to post the alleged campsites, because they will be required to prove that it is a legal move before they do so.
Cynthia Wang, Airbnb’s public policy manager has expressed that many of the campsite listings in Hawaii are breaching their terms of service. It is popular in many places these days for people to be renting out tents to tourists who are looking for good deals when they visit places.
This has been occurring in San Francisco, Seattle, and New York. New York has already begun to crack down on the practice as well, but in Hawaii it has proved to be a little more complicated. Where in the cities people might be trying to rent out some tent space in their backyards, in Hawaii the beach land makes it more public.
It is possible to flag illegal listings on the site, however they are finding that hard to track since people can then proceed to post the same listing under a different name if it does happen to get flagged.
Laura went on to say:
“It’s really hard to shut them down because they can pop back up again with something new.”
In addition to the lawmakers of the state, some of the locals in Hawaii are not thrilled with the practice either. Clearly some people are benefitting at the extra income they are making for renting out spots that don’t actually belong to them, but at the expense of locals who actually wanted to use the space.
Many locals have begun to complain because they can no longer get a campsite at their favorite spots since they’re being re rented out to tourists instead.