Airbnb and like home sharing platforms have been a disruptor for the hotel industry. While hotel performance is strong in the current economic climate, hoteliers are concerned about the impact of home-sharing platforms in the future. However, it isn’t home sharing that is a problem, according to experts at ALIS. Rather, the problem is full-time operators that are using home-sharing sites to operate small bed-and-breakfasts or inns.

“Room sharing is not an issue in this industry,” Katherine Lugar, president and CEO of AHLA, said on the Dealing With the new Normal Panel at ALIS this week. “People want to rent a room in their home or even occasionally rent out their home has been going on for decades. That is nothing new. Unfortunately, that is not what we see with companies like Airbnb and others, where increasingly the dominate part of their revenue is from full-time operators renting multiple units 365-days a year. To that, we say welcome; here is what that business looks like.”

In the US, hotel industry leaders are working to hold these operators accountable, and Lugar says that they are making strides. “We are working in cities and states across the country to make sure the government isn’t in the business of picking winners and losers,” she explained on the panel. “If you run a small bed and breakfast or a small inn, we want to make sure that you have the same obligations. That goes to zoning, protecting neighborhoods, preserving affordable housing supply and not disrupting that and fair collection of taxation. This is just getting the rules on a level playing field for those that are running full-time businesses.”

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Kelsi Maree Borland

Kelsi Maree Borland is a freelance journalist and magazine writer based in Los Angeles, California. For more than 5 years, she has extensively reported on the commercial real estate industry, covering major deals across all commercial asset classes, investment strategy and capital markets trends, market commentary, economic trends and new technologies disrupting and revolutionizing the industry. Her work appears daily on and regularly in Real Estate Forum Magazine. As a magazine writer, she covers lifestyle and travel trends. Her work has appeared in Angeleno, Los Angeles Magazine, Travel and Leisure and more.

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