This year is off to a great start—not too long ago, I returned from the 2023 Spring Forum in Kansas City, Missouri. At this year’s event, the keynote and breakout sessions were outstanding, the networking opportunities were lively, and the exhibit hall was full of impressive booths and discussions. I sincerely thank everyone who attended, exhibited, or sponsored and made the event what it was.
VRMA’s events are a big part of what makes this organization so valuable, but I’m also excited about what we have planned related to research and advocacy. The VRMA Advocacy Fund is committed to annual economic impact studies based on regions. These studies include a review and breakdown of direct and indirect spending by traveler, tax savings due to short-term vacation rentals, employment and wages, and induced effects (i.e., income spent in the state by property managers for maintenance, cleaning products, etc.).
In 2020, we released research on Georgia; in 2022, we produced reports on South Carolina and Maryland; and, this year, we are studying Texas, Florida, and Southern California. The results of our findings will be released in press releases, social media kits, and webinars, and our advocacy team is working with state lobbyists and industry associations to educate lawmakers on the importance of short-term vacation rentals and our findings in the regions we studied. VRMA is committed to leading research to drive our industry forward and move the needle on legislative action.
Nationally, VRMA has joined elected official groups (Democratic Lieutenant Governors Association, Republican Lieutenant Governors Association, Community Leaders of America, and Forum for Community Leaders) to introduce and educate lawmakers on the industry. We also are working on a National Housing Affordability Study this year with Oxford Economics to address what drives housing affordability and its relation to short-term vacation rentals.
The Advocacy Fund has grown each year since its launch. From 2019-2022, we saw an incredible 443 percent growth in fundraising, and just in the past year, we’ve seen an 81 percent increase in giving. Between 2020 and 2022, $262,600 was distributed in awards and grants to VRMA members.
It’s awesome to see and motivating for myself and VRMA leadership to keep the momentum going. It’s clear we are making significant progress, and that’s without mentioning our upcoming events this year. Being face-to-face with others in the industry is invaluable; I hope to see you between now and December.