NEW YORK (AP) — Airbnb had its best quarter ever, even as
cities across the U.S. have started clamping down on the short-term rental
Revenue during the third quarter breezed past the $1 billion
level as guest reservations boomed internationally in places like Beijing,
Mexico City and Birmingham, England, the San Francisco-based company said Friday.
Airbnb expects a record 1 million guests to stay at Airbnb
listings across the U.S. during the Thanksgiving holiday.
Airbnb acts as an online booking agent for homeowners to
make extra income by renting rooms, apartments and houses. Its growth has drawn
the ire of the hotel industry and communities in the U.S. and abroad, where
locals are uneasy with the constant turnaround of guests in their neighborhoods
and apartment buildings.
In some markets, like New York and Miami, there is evidence
that home-sharing has cut into hotel profits, pushing some larger chains to get
in on the action. Last month Marriott said it was expanding its home-sharing
pilot in London to three additional European cities, while Hyatt announced it
was pulling out of a money-losing collaboration with luxury home-sharing
Many cities and states across the U.S. have tightened rental
guidelines in order to regulate the rapidly growing industry. New York and
Washington have both imposed strict limits on short-term rental companies, and
housing-starved San Francisco has done the same, in addition to suing or fining
homeowners who illegally rent their homes.
In Europe, officials in top travel destinations are
grappling with the massive growth in home-sharing. Residents of Venice and
Barcelona have staged repeated protests, saying the influx of visitors is
driving up rents and forcing out locals. Parisians are complaining about the
onslaught of tourists in their neighborhoods and buildings, late-night parties
and drunken revelers.
Airbnb listings in Paris have grown to 65,000, from just
4,000 in 2012.
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