Airbnb, hotels dispute whether commercial hosts are increasing - SF Gate
Date:  3/15/2017

Written by: Carolyn Said
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Airbnb makes a big — and growing — chunk of its revenue from commercial operators, according to a study financed by the hotel industry. The home-rental company disputed the report as misleading and inaccurate, and provided The Chronicle with data showing that it had jettisoned hundreds of commercial listings in San Francisco as part of its “One Host, One Home” policy.

Nationwide, hosts who rent out two or more units to travelers within a single month — which indicates that they are not simply renting their own residences — accounted for $1.8 billion in bookings and almost a third of Airbnb’s U.S. revenue, the report said. It said they were Airbnb’s fastest-growing segment in numbers of hosts, units and revenue.

“This report debunks the story Airbnb likes to tell of themselves as merely a home-sharing platform,” said Katherine Lugar, CEO of the American Hotel & Lodging Association, which commissioned the analysis. Her trade group wants local lawmakers to rein in Airbnb so it competes fairly with hotels.

The report showed that Airbnb revenue almost doubled for the 12 months that ended in October, compared with the same period a year earlier. That wildfire growth underlies the company’s popularity with investors. Separately on Thursday, Airbnb said it had raised an additional $1 billion, giving it a value of $31 billion. It generated a profit in the second half of 2016 and expects to be profitable this year, according to Reuters.

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