Stories

Hotel industry claims Airbnb operates like hotels

EFFIE YANG via Flickr CC

A CBRE research study backed by the hotel industry reports that hosts renting out multiple entire-home units generated $1.8 billion in revenue in 2016, nearly a third of all revenue from Airbnb. American Hotel Lodging Association said, "That's not home sharing, that's a business." Plus, hosts with 10 or more properties made $175 million last year in host revenue.

An Airbnb spokesman told the Wall Street Journal that the study is "misleading" and an attempt by the hotel industry to protect its business interests.

Revenues are up for entire-home rentals, too: Revenue growth is up by an average of 75% in the markets studied. (Compare that to revenue that almost doubled in 2016 for all Airbnb hosts.)

Why it matters: The hotel industry has long cried out about Airbnb's encroaching business and claim many units rented out operate as hotels. As cities around the world move to push limits on Airbnb, such as limits on the number of days hosts can rent out their units, this study, albeit backed by the industry, gives those moves some clout. This also isn't the first time Airbnb has been criticized over multi-unit hosts: a year ago, outside researchers found that Airbnb had quietly removed listings from such hosts prior to releasing data about its New York City business.