April 18, 2017

Inside the hotel industry’s plan to combat Airbnb


In the past, hotel executives played down Airbnb’s impact on their industry, but documents reveal a “multipronged, national campaign” to rein it in.

The industry’s plan against Airbnb shows “the hotel cartel is intent on short-sheeting the middle class so they can keep price-gouging consumers,” Nick Papas, a spokesman for Airbnb, wrote in an email. “With more than 250 government partnerships over the last year, we have shown our seriousness of purpose when it comes to putting in place fair rules.”

The national hotel association said its push against Airbnb was not about the platform’s financial impact on hotels. “Airbnb is operating a lodging industry, but it is not playing by the same rules,” Troy Flanagan, the American Hotel and Lodging Association’s vice president for state and local government affairs, said in an interview.

The main prongs of the association’s plan to constrain Airbnb include lobbying politicians and state attorneys general to reduce the number of Airbnb hosts, funding studies to show Airbnb is filled with people who are quietly running hotels out of residential buildings and highlighting how Airbnb hosts do not collect hotel taxes and are not subject to the same safety and security regulations that hotel operators must follow.

Get the full story at The New York Times