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Deals & Dealmakers

Airbnb to give city access to 17,000 New York City listings

Airbnb has agreed to give city officials reservation data for more than 17,000 New York City home listings.

The information will be used by the Mayor’s Office of Special Enforcement to identify hosts and property owners who may have broken the city’s short-term rental laws by converting residences into de facto hotels by listing them on Airbnb.

Since 2010, it has been illegal under New York state law to rent out dwellings in multifamily buildings in New York City for less than 30 day.

The Airbnb data is being handed over after the city issued Airbnb a subpoena. While names will be redacted, the city will be able to seek user information when it is “relevant to an investigation.”

Liz DeBold Fusco, a spokeswoman for Airbnb, told REW, “We have long said that we want to work with the City on an effective regulatory framework and we recognize data sharing is an important part of that.

“We hope that our compliance with this subpoena — by providing data in line with our shared enforcement priorities against illegal hotel operators — is a first step toward finding such a solution that is consistent with Airbnb’s legal rights and obligations and allows us to share the kind of actionable data with the level of precision that the City needs.”

The deal comes as a new survey revaled that Airbnb is becoming the preferred choice of vacationers with 60 percent of travelers saying they prefer Airbnb over comparable hotels when going on vacation.

More than two million people stay in an Airbnb every night turning the travel tech behemoth in $38 billion business.

A suvery by Clever Real Estate found that Airbnb is becoming the preferred choice of many vacationers, but hotels still serve an important function for travelers who prefer more traditional and/or familiar accommodation options when away from home.

The report found that 68 percent of business travelers prefer staying in hotels when traveling for work.

24/7 front desk services, on-site fitness centers, room service, complimentary breakfasts, and other amenities keep business people coming back to hotels. Almost half of business travelers said familiarity was an important reason they prefer hotels.

Some 57 percent of business travelers reported having a negative experience that violated Airbnb’s guidelines compared to 35 percent of vacation travelers.

Clever Real estate found the most important hotel amenities include WiFi, free parking, complimentary breakfast, and housekeeping.

Earlier this month, Airbnb announced it would help RXR Realty operate a hotel at 75 Rockefeller Plaza.

RXR plans to convert ten floors of 75 Rockefeller Plaza, a 1940s office building in Midtown, into “high-end apartment-style suites with a diverse mix of amenities.”

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