Updated: April 28, 6:00 p.m.: The price of a night at a New York City hotel is falling for the first time in years, and some hoteliers are pointing the finger at short-term rental services such as Airbnb.
The average hotel room rate fell 1.7 percent, for $266, according to data from hospitality tracking firm STR. It’s the first time average hotel prices in the city have declined since 2009. Prices were also down in the first two months of 2016, hitting $186, a 5.9 percent decline from the previous winter, the New York Post reported.
At the same time, tourism – somewhat counterintuitively – is on the rise. A total of 58.3 million people visited the city last year, up 3.2 percent from 2014, according to city statistics. The hotel occupancy rate hit 73.2 percent in the first two months of 2016, up from 72 percent the previous year.
Some hoteliers blamed Airbnb and other short-term rental services for the results.
“Demand for New York is not the issue,” hotelier Richard Born told the Post. “If Airbnb were to go away, room rates would go up by 15 percent.”
Back in February, The Real Deal reported on an STR report that found no smoking gun evidence to prove Airbnb and similar services were hurting the hotel industry’s revenues.
Born, who owns the Greenwich Hotel and the Pod Hotels, among others, didn’t see it that way.
“Anyone who says Airbnb is not affecting NYC hotels is an idiot or hired by Airbnb to say that,” he told the Post [NYP] – Ariel Stulberg
Correction: A previous version of this article misstated the city’s 2015 tourism numbers, and those for the increase in tourism since 2014.