The Real Deal Miami

Airbnb calls AHLA’s Miami market report “factually inaccurate”

Airbnb says it's in talks with Miami-Dade County to collect bed taxes

May 27, 2016 04:30PM
By Katherine Kallergis

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Airbnb founders Joe Gebbia, Nathan Blecharczyk and Brian Chesky

Airbnb founders Joe Gebbia, Nathan Blecharczyk and Brian Chesky

Airbnb has responded to a report released by the American Hotel & Lodging Association on Wednesday, calling the study “factually inaccurate” and “paid for by the hotel industry.”

The report said that more than three quarters of Airbnb revenue in Miami came from operators who listed their properties for more than 180 days of the year – which came out to $93 million for the period of October 2014 to September 2015. It also stated that Miami has the highest percentage, at 62 percent, of multi-unit operators in the 14 cities the AHLA and Penn State University studied.

Christopher Nulty, Airbnb spokesperson, called the report the latest attempt to “mislead and manipulate to stifle competition.”

Rather than cite bookings, the report cites listings, Nulty said. Actually, 14 percent of listings were booked for more than 180 days, compared to the 28 percent of listings marked available for more than 180 days as cited in the report.

AHLA said full-time operators (those who list their space for more than 360 days a year) represented 6 percent of listings, while Airbnb says 1 percent of listings were booked for more than 300 days, and no listings were booked for more than 360 days.

Nulty previously told TRD that Airbnb collects and remits bed taxes statewide and in 27 Florida counties, not including Miami-Dade. “We continue to have productive conversations with officials to make it possible to collect and remit hotel taxes in Miami-Dade County and expect to reach an agreement soon,” he said on Thursday.

The AHLA report also named the five Miami zip codes that accounted for more than 65 percent, or $79 million, of Airbnb’s revenue. South Beach was No. 1 with $45.7 million during the period in 2014 to 2015.

AHLA president and CEO Katherine Lugar said a growing portion of Airbnb’s revenue comes from commercial landlords.

“The AHLA is out of touch with the increasing number of consumers and cities embracing the tremendous benefits of home sharing,” Nulty said. “Vacation rentals have always been a driving force in Miami tourism and now home sharing is broadening that impact and bringing visitors’ dollars to new neighborhoods and small businesses.”