PHOTO: Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky. (photo via Flickr/GES 2016)
Airbnb is firing back at the hotel industry just days after the American Hotel and Lodging Association's (AHLA) plan to combat the home-sharing platform was leaked.
The San Francisco-based company released a new three-part report on Tuesday claiming it has saved consumers millions of dollars during recent months by providing them with an affordable alternative at times when hotels are most likely to raise their room rates.
"While some price fluctuation can be attributed to basic supply and demand forces and is appropriate, there have been countless examples of hotels engaging in blatant price-gouging," states the report, titled "Airbnb: Fighting Hotel Price-Gouging, Saving Millions for Consumers."
Airbnb argues that price-gouging is "rampant" in the hotel industry, pointing out the significance of compression nights on a hotel's bottom line. On those nights, which often occur amid big events, occupancy rates climb above 95 percent and hotels are able to raise rates by 50 percent or more in some cases.
As a result, compression nights make up a healthy chunk of hotels' annual profits.
The short-term rental service detailed multiple instances when hotels have taken advantage of natural disasters, weather events, sporting events, conferences and even college graduations to gouge guests.
"For too long, hotels have had nearly unchecked power to raise rates and price gouge consumers at will," the report concludes.
Airbnb also compared average daily hotel rates to average daily Airbnb rates in seven major U.S. cities this past New Year's Eve and determined that it saved customers a combined $11.8 million.
The company evaluated rates during Super Bowl LI in Houston, the 2016 Indy 500 in Indianapolis, 2016 Comic-Con in San Diego and the 2016 Boston Marathon as well, finding it saved customers nearly $5 million over the course of all four events.
According to Airbnb, the hotel industry is desperate to continue price-gouging travelers. The company says "many hotel leaders and executives have grown concerned that Airbnb and the popularity of home sharing will limit their ability to earn even more money by price gouging in the future."
It claims the recently leaked documents are proof of the industry's fear.
READ MORE: Hotels' Strategy to Fend Off Airbnb Leaked
In an emailed statement to CNBC, a spokeswoman for the AHLA accused Airbnb and other short-term rental companies of being "disingenuous to state and local authorities about their operations' facilitation of illegal hotels."
"It's clear the bulk of Airbnb's revenue is coming from commercial activity," the spokeswoman added.
The hotel industry's leading argument against Airbnb and similar companies for years now has been that the top-earning hosts are essentially running hotels without operating by the same rules and regulations of a traditional hotel, thus making them illegal. The hotel sector has celebrated laws designed to crack down on those hosts but clearly isn't content with the progress so far.
Airbnb admits that more research is necessary but believes it can serve as the "antidote" to hotel price-gouging.