New national lodging service, Airbnb, has come under fire lately. The American Hotel and Lodging Association (AH&LA) is lobbying for more government regulation of the peer-to-peer lodging company. The association argues that Airbnb should follow the same safety and health standards, and pay the same taxes as all hotels do. But Airbnb claims they are a fundamentally different business from hotels, and should not be treated as such. So far Airbnb is still not classified as a hotel service.
Airbnb spokesman, Nick Papas, said the success of the company is due to everyday people’s desire to supplement some income by allowing others to share their homes. Thus far, there have been over 70 million guests that have stayed the night at an Airbnb residence in over 34,000 cities. Papas predicts that this number will increase this year, as travelers seek a more personal experience from their travelling experience than can be found in a traditional hotel.
Recent CBRE Hotels’ Americas Research shows that travelers spent $2.4 billion with Airbnb between October 2014 and September 2015. Over 55% of that $2.4 billion was spent in: San Francisco, Miami, New York, Los Angeles, and Boston. CBRE hotels executives believe that Airbnb could keep hotel rates from rising. Airbnb’s continued success may even slow new hotel construction.
AH&LA President Katherine Lugar calls Airbnb’s hotels illegal. Since Airbnb is comprised of a network of dwellings, they don’t have the traditional type of inventory like hotels. This is one of the major reasons why Airbnb has not been made to follow the same health and safety guidelines as regular hotels. Hotel executives know that Airbnb is here to stay, but they will continue pushing for Airbnb to live by the same rules as regular hotels.
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