13/09/2017 – New association for the short-term accommodation industry launched
The UK Short Term Accommodation Association (STAA), a new trade body set up to represent and champion the UK’s short-term accommodation industry will be formally launched today (13 September), at an event opened by Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Communities and Local Government, Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth, held at the offices of leading holiday rental marketplace HomeAway.
STAA has nine founding members from across the industry: The Air Agents, Airsorted, Airbnb, HomeAway, Lavanda, OASIS, onefinestay, SuperControl and UnderTheDoormat. Membership is open to companies and organisations that promote, provide or service short-term accommodation rentals.
STAA was founded because the industry believes that there needs to be greater cooperation to tackle common challenges and to seize shared opportunities. The association is seeking to work with all stakeholders across the UK towards a stable and supportive regulatory environment that promotes the UK as a global leader in the provision of short-term accommodation.
STAA will champion the sector, drive industry best practice and work with local authorities to support enforcement efforts. A key aspect of this work is the launch of the voluntary STAA Code of Conduct that all members are committed to. The Code contains a range of measures designed to boost consumer protection, support enforcement, maintain residential amenity and drive local business growth.
Lord Bourne, said: “The sharing economy is transforming the way we live our lives and the way we use our homes. This Government is committed to supporting the expansion of this exciting sector and I am delighted to be part of the launch of the STAA today – an excellent example of businesses coming together to drive up standards within the industry. I look forward to watching the progress of the STAA, in particular the development of their code of conduct, which will play an important role in protecting consumers, local residents and the hosts themselves as the sector grows.”
Merilee Karr, Founder and CEO, UnderTheDoormat and Chairperson of STAA, said: “The UK is a global leader in the sharing economy and the establishment of STAA is an important step in supporting the responsible growth of the short –term accommodation sector. The sharing economy has huge potential to help homeowners earn money from their home either through homeshares or when they are away, to offer guests a much more comfortable and personal experience, and to support local businesses and communities. With the launch of the STAA and our code of conduct, the industry’s major players have taken an important first step in ensuring homeowners, guests and residents all have the peace of mind that its members are driving high standards and providing well-managed short term lets. We look forward to working with government, communities and consumers to support the responsible and sustainable growth of the short –term accommodation sector across the UK and internationally.”
Jean-Philippe Monod, Senior Director Government and Corporate Affairs EMEA at Expedia and HomeAway and STAA Vice-Chair, said: “We are delighted to be part of the launch of the STAA and welcome its members to the HomeAway office in London. Holiday rentals provide undeniable benefits for communities and local businesses, particularly in areas off the beaten track. For more than two decades, we have provided holidaymakers from all over the world with a unique way to experience their travels. As part of the STAA we will continue our efforts to offer holidaymakers their home away from home and work closely with all UK stakeholders to help the holiday rental industry grow.”
James McClure, General Manager Northern Europe, Airbnb and STAA member, said: "I'm pleased to be representing the homesharing community, and all the benefits it generates for residents across the UK, within the wider Short Term Accommodation Association. With the increasing popularity of homesharing and short term lets, I look forward to collaborating with other members to ensure that the sector as a whole grows responsibly and sustainably."
Shomik Panda, STAA Director General, said: “I am delighted to be a part of the STAA leadership team and I look forward to helping the Association make a positive impact. It is an exciting time for the industry and the STAA will be instrumental in helping the sector to grow responsibly, both at home and internationally.”
The aims of STAA are to:
· Promote the industry and educating stakeholders about the different business models that exist.
· Develop the short-term accommodation market.
· Develop industry positions on policy challenges and opportunities.
· Help companies to make connections with potential customers, partners and suppliers.
· Provide a forum for the industry to address policy and regulatory challenges.
· Engage with national and local government officials to build a supportive business. environment for the industry and to tackle policy challenges.
· Develop industry standards and providing a mechanism for the sharing of best practice.
· Engage with other international sectoral associations and related industries.
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