Tech Talk: Airbnb Is Facing Stiff Opposition From Hotels

Airbnb is facing stiff opposition from hotels, but more specifically the hotel industry on a wider scale. While Airbnb has been a wonderful service for many of its users around the globe the hotel industry is starting to flesh out a plan for taking on Airbnb due to the service cutting into their profits, at least that’s how Airbnb seems to view the the push-back they’ve been getting from the American Hotel and Lodging Association. Airbnb sees the hotel industry’s actions as a means to continue keeping lodging prices up - If they can create difficulty for Airbnb then have more of a chance for keeping customers, which could allow them to charge higher prices if they’re the only option for lodging. It sounds like a fair assessment given what you get if you rent a room or a home from Airbnb compared to what you get when staying at a hotel. While in some instances you can rent an entire place on Airbnb and it can still end up a costly transaction depending on how many nights you stay, you still have to weigh out the value of having an entire home to yourself and any guests who might be with you compared to a single room with a hotel for the same amount of nights.

Furthermore, if you look to rent just a single room with Airbnb, this is where the savings kicks in as many rentals on a per night basis can be as low as $40 for a room. Hotels on average usually aren’t that cheap, so it’s easy to see the appeal of grabbing an Airbnb where you would generally have access to the same types of amenities that a hotel would offer for a lower cost. As a quick example of price comparisons, a three-night stay with Airbnb in Seattle scheduled for this year’s Thanksgiving, which is the 23rd, going through to the 26th, will result in quite a few room options at around $38-$48. There was one even as low as $21. When searching for hotels using Trivago for the same area and time this year, the lowest price room was $55 and even then it was the only room at that price, while there were only two more options at $87 and $81.

According to the American Hotel & Lodging Association though it isn’t about Airbnb dipping into their profits, and they have dipped into their profits. It’s supposedly about Airbnb not being held to the same standards that Hotels have to abide by, such as regulations for safety and not having to collect Hotel taxes. The hotel industry finds Airbnb such a threat that their plan is to make attempts at lowering the amount of hosts which can list their rooms or homes up for rent through the service. How successful the American Hotel and Lodging Association's plans are is unclear right now, but it's said that they plan to focus their efforts in larger cities where more Airbnb hosts are likely to be present, and in turn where Airbnb sees more rentals which takes more money away from hotels. Cities like LA, San Francisco, and Miami, places which the hotel industry is referring to as "key markets."

Reducing the amount of rentals is just the broad stroke of the hotel industry's plans. It boils down to more strategic steps, such as using a large $5.6 million annual budget to lobby against Airbnb by trying to get state officials to increase fines for hosts that operate in violation of the city laws in New York City. Part of their plan also reportedly includes researching to find people that have had bad experiences with the home sharing service and using them as testimonials in an anti-Airbnb campaign. Although the American Hotel and Lodging Association looks to have a handful of different tactics ready to throw at its plans for disruption of Airbnb, the anti-Airbnb testimonial campaign appears to be a big part of their future efforts as it's referred to as the "cornerstone" of their 2017 strategy, and it's a strategy that Airbnb will likely have to work hard to fight back against.

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Justin Diaz

Justin has written for Android Headlines since 2012 and currently adopts a Editor role with a specific focus on mobile gaming and game-streaming services. Prior to the move to Android Headlines Justin spent almost eight years working directly within the wireless industry. Contact him at [email protected]