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Jacobson, Aaron
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This Bachelor’s Essay is being submitted for fulfillment of the graduation requirements of the College of Charleston Honors College for the Spring 2014 semester. The following research explores the non-hotel segment of the lodging industry, i.e. accommodations of less than 15 rooms which are eligible for rental periods of less than one month. These “small-scale” lodging properties, as they are collectively referred to in this essay, are most typically short-term vacation rentals, but may also include small inns, bed and breakfasts, timeshares, hostels, campsites, boats, and other non-hotel forms of short-term lodging. Whereas data from hotels and lodging properties of 15 or more rooms is collected and inventoried by Smith Travel Research, the lodging industry’s leading data provider, there is no comparable data provider or standard source for these small-scale lodging properties. Lack of operational inventory for lodging properties of less than 15 rooms is problematic in multiple ways. In Charleston, South Carolina, for example, research has shown that a significant portion of unexplained accommodations tax revenue is likely attributable to smaller non-hotel lodging properties. An accurate inventory of these properties could help close the gap between explainable and unexplainable accommodations tax revenue, while also helping to ensure the completion of accommodations tax payments owed to the City of Charleston, Charleston County, and the State of South Carolina. Moreover, a deeper and more complete understanding of Charleston’s lodging industry will provide the basis for more accurate and precise decision making by all concerned parties, including but not limited to the City of Charleston, the Charleston Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the College of Charleston’s Hospitality Department and Office of Tourism Analysis. Thus, the research culminates in a comprehensive inventory of downtown Charleston’s lodging properties of less than 15 rooms, specifically in an area on the peninsula of Charleston known as the Historic District (defined herein as the combined 29401 and 29403 zip codes). Finally, the essay acknowledges limitations and suggests directions for further research.
small-scale, lodging industry, short-term, vacation rental, downtown Historic Charleston peninsula, 29401, 29403