A new study backed by a hotel industry group says many Airbnb listings are more like de facto hotels that can evade hospitality regulations, giving them an unfair advantage over traditional hotel and bed-and-breakfast operators.

The report, funded by the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA) and conducted by the hotels division of CBRE, claims that 81 percent of Airbnb’s $4.6 billion in U.S. revenue comes from whole-unit rentals, where the owner is not present during the guest's stay.

The rise in whole-unit rentals amounts to a proliferation of "illegal hotels," the report says, that is hurting independent hotel operators who are forced to compete on an uneven playing field.

"This report provides a stark contrast to the picture that Airbnb presents to policymakers and the public ... because these actors drive the overwhelming — and growing — portion of its revenue," said AHLA President and CEO Katherine Lugard. "Indeed, it appears that Airbnb is actively supporting this commercial activity rather than trying to operate within the boundaries of the law."

Read more at the Denver Business Journal:http://bizj.us/1p3aur

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