May 06, 2014

Hotel industry publicly butts heads with Airbnb


For centuries, the hotel industry stood essentially unchanged. After all, “no room at the inn” is a central plot point to the most famous story ever told. But the industry is seeing a major disruption in the form of short-term rental websites like Airbnb.

The proverbial middle man is being ripped from the equation now that you can book “some dude’s couch” as your home-away-from home base. The hotel industry doesn’t like Airbnb - or its $10 million valuation - one bit.

The American Hotel and Lodging Association is so incensed by this trend that it has sent a message to its members condemning Airbnb and its ilk as "technically illegal, but lax enforcement of existing laws has allowed these entities to grow exponentially in size."

Airbnb isn’t taking the criticism lightly. In an email to Mashable, a spokesman responded:

"Over 11 million guests have had a safe, positive experience on Airbnb. We help promote positive experiences through a global trust and safety team available 24/7, authentic reviews, verified profile information, and the $1 Million Host Guarantee. The data show hotels are thriving as the sharing economy grows. We can and should work together to promote travel and tourism."

Get the full story at PR Daily and Travel Weekly