Inside the Hotel Industry’s Plan to Combat Airbnb:
Last year, Airbnb underwent a rough regulatory patch.
The short-term rental company became a Federal Trade Commission target last summer after three senators asked for an investigation into how companies like Airbnb affect soaring housing costs. In October, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York signed a bill imposing steep fines on Airbnb hosts who break local housing rules.
The two actions appeared unrelated. But one group quietly took credit for both: the hotel industry.
In a presentation in November, the American Hotel and Lodging Association, a trade group that counts Marriott International, Hilton Worldwide and Hyatt Hotels as members, said the federal investigation and the New York bill were “notable accomplishments.”
Rather than innovate and make booking a hotel room as easy as booking an Airbnb, the hotel industry would rather snitch on Airbnb, form alliances with politicians, and sue them out of existence.
It’s the American way!
I’m not suggesting Airbnb isn’t capable of, or hasn’t engaged in shady business practices like Uber, I’m just saying fighting upstart rivals can’t be the only tool in your box.
The Verge took a look at Airbnb’s data in light of the New York attorney general’s beef with them:
But a review of the data by The Verge found that Airbnb’s numbers, covering November of 2014 through November 1st of 2015, largely confirmed the attorney general’s accusations. A small number of hosts renting out multiple listings took home a disproportionate amount of the total revenue. And while roughly 71 percent of hosts rented out their home for three months or less, there were still thousands of “whole units,” meaning an entire house or apartment, which were rented for six months or more during the last year.
This, my friends, is what the sharing economy looks like.
A few people at the top making the most the money.