Leaked docs show hotel industry’s role in anti-Airbnb laws

Trade group launched “multipronged, national campaign” last year

TRD LOS ANGELES /
Apr.April 18, 2017 12:00 PM
Airbnb founders Joe Gebbia, Nathan Blecharczyk and Brian Chesky and AHLA’s Katherine Lugar

From TRD New York: Newly leaked documents show how the hotel industry systematically pushed for anti-Airbnb legislation last year and worked to sway public opinion against the short-term room rental website.

In early 2016, trade group American Hotel and Lodging Association launched a “multipronged, national campaign approach at the local, state and federal level,” focusing on major cities like New York, Miami and Los Angeles, the New York Times reports.

On Friday, Airbnb and five homeowners sued the city of Miami to stop Miami officials from enforcing bans on short-term rentals and for targeting Airbnb hosts who publicly identified themselves.

According to the documents cited by the Times, the hotel industry’s goal was “advancing a national narrative that furthers the focus on reining in commercial operators and the need for commonsense regulations on short-term rentals.”

The group also claims in the documents that it lobbied Senators Brian Schatz (Hawaii), Elizabeth Warren (Massachusetts) and Dianne Feinstein (California). The three lawmakers sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission in which they expressed “concerns about the short-term rental industry,” according to the documents.

Last week, CNBC reported that Airbnb’s growth has slowed globally amid tightening regulations. [NYT] — Konrad Putzier


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