PHOTO: Airbnb calls the latest AHLA study misleading and inaccurate. (photo via Flickr/Open grid Scheduler)
The hotel industry shows no signs of letting up when it comes to the engaging the competition posed by Airbnb. In a new study released Thursday, the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) once again accused the home-sharing platform of allowing the growth of "illegal hotels."
According to the AHLA-funded report conducted by CBRE Hotels' Americas Research, titled "Hosts with Multiple Units – A Key Driver of Airbnb Growth," 81 percent of Airbnb's U.S. revenue ($4.6 billion) comes from whole-unit rentals where the owner is not present at the time of the rental, up from 78 percent the previous year.
The study, which examined AirDNA data from October 2014 through September 2016 and highlighted 13 of the largest markets in the U.S., also determined that hosts renting out two or more entire-home units generated nearly $2 billion in revenue last year.
The report claims that hosts who are listing multiple entire-home units for rent are the fastest-growing segment within Airbnb's inventory.
The total number of listings by multi-unit hosts increased in each of the 13 major markets analyzed, according to the study. What's more, the growth more than doubled in four markets, (Nashville, Seattle, Oahu and New Orleans), the report found.
"This report provides a stark contrast to the picture that Airbnb presents to policymakers and the public and sheds light on why the company has largely refused to take even basic steps to stop illegal hotel operators, because these actors drive the overwhelming — and growing — portion of its revenue," AHLA president and CEO Katherine Lugar said in a statement.
"Today we are calling on Airbnb to finally come clean, tell the truth to the communities where it operates and crack down on the illegal hotels that it facilitates."
Council of Community Housing Organizations co-director Peter Cohen said the report confirms that Airbnb is contributing to the affordable housing crisis.
In an email to the Chicago Tribune, though, Airbnb spokesman Ben Breit called the report misleading and inaccurate while accusing the AHLA of being hypocritical.
"As the AHLA already knows, many of their member inns, motels and hotels list rooms on our platform, so these are included in the very data on 'commercial' listings the big hotels seem so concerned about," Breit told the Tribune.
READ MORE: Is Airbnb Catching Up to Traditional Hotels?
This isn't the first time the AHLA has accused Airbnb of benefiting from illegal hotels and likely won't be the last as hoteliers remain subject to many regulations and taxes that Airbnb hosts are still able to avoid in many places.
"Once upon a time Airbnb might have simply been a home-sharing company, but this analysis shows that’s just a fairytale now," added Lugar.