Some 20,000 Airbnb bookings in New Orleans for the annual Jazz and Heritage Festival last month — 2.5 times higher than last year — led to some potential changes. The Louisiana State House of Representatives is considering a bill that forces anyone renting a property for fewer than 29 days to comply with regulations from the fire department, including installing fire extinguishers, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and a map of building exits, just like hotels do. The measure failed, but it may crop up again in the next legislative session. If nothing else, it shows cities and states are paying attention to the huge uptick in Airbnb rentals recently. Hotel and inn operators who are losing out to the company are expressing a loss of revenue. Short-term rentals are actually illegal in New Orleans, but the law is seldom enforced. Other cities are struggling to regulate the Airbnb boom, and there have been arguments over the company’s legality in New York City and San Francisco. Meanwhile, the company continues its huge growth around the world.
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This issue felt like a warm memory, as it allowed me to reminisce on my last few 2022 trips. In October I joined Francis X. Gallagher and Haley Fogarty on a trip to Chicago, where I squeezed in a visit to one of the city’s newest spas (page 26), and in November, my husband, Scott, and I enjoyed an incredible trip to France, sailing the Seine River from Paris through Normandy. Follow along on our itinerary on page 74 and enjoy the gorgeous fall views of the French countryside in my photo. Yes, I’m still dreaming of those croissants ... and the macarons ... and the cheese, the wine — well, you get the point.