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Airbnb Says Data Misleading in Report Indicating 30% of Its Revenue From ‘Illegal’ Full-Time Hosts

Illegal full-time hosts account for about 30 percent of AirBNB rentals, the American Hotel and Lodging Association says.

According to a new report by Penn State University’s School of Hospitality Management compiled with information they gathered over the course of a year, 28.5 percent of Airbnb revenue comes from rental owners who illegally rent out their spaces full-time, or 360 days per year at least. The industry trade group American Hotel and Lodging Association has spoken out about the report, calling notice to the potentially illegal practices.

“A significant and growing percentage of Airbnb’s revenue comes from those with multiple residential properties rented out on a full-time rental basis. These corporate landlords dodge taxes, skirt the laws and flout safety standards,” American Hotel and Lodging Association CEO Katherine Lugar told TravelMole.

But officials with Airbnb don’t agree with the report, calling it misleading and flawed, and saying it’s being used as an attack on people hoping to stay afloat with extra incomes from the site.

“This report uses misleading data to make false claims and attack middle-class families who share their homes and use the money they earn to pay the bills,” Airbnb spokesman Nick Papas told TravelMole. “The overwhelming majority of Airbnb hosts are middle-class people who occasionally share only the home in which they live and while Airbnb hosts keep 97 percent of the price they charge for their listings, hotels take most of the money they earn out of the community.”

The study covered the U.S.’s largest metro areas, 12 in total, including Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, Miami and Philadelphia.

[Photo: Airbnb]

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sdsearch January 25, 2016

Neither this article nor the linked the linked TravelMode article explains how the survey data was collected. If they didn't distinguish between people who rent out one spare room and people who rent out their entire home, there's the issue. The hotel association is pretending all these people do the latter, and Airbnb is implying that most people do the former, and without the data on how many are renting only part of their home (while they live there) and how many are renting the whole home (while they live somewhere else) the two sides will keep talking past each other.