After weeks of speculation, Airbnb has admitted in a pair of letters sent to state legislators and Airbnb users in New York that it purged roughly 1,500 listings ahead of releasing data to regulators. According to Bloomberg, Airbnb reportedly kicked off 622 hosts in a purge in November 2015. The company said it removed the listings that appeared to be controlled by commercial operators, and did not reflect its vision of the Airbnb community. Given the lack of complete transparency from the company, it has been a challenge to determine whether recent studies truly reflect the short-term rental service’s impact on the hotel industry. According to Amanda Hite, president and COO of STR, the data purge should not have significantly altered the accuracy of STR’s recent research on Airbnb’s impact on the Manhattan hotel market.
“The dataset Airbnb released to the city of New York is related to all units; however, the dataset STR analyzed was available units. This only would have affected one month out of the 24 months we analyzed. STR was provided with number of guestnights available, the number of guestnights sold, and revenue for each guestnight covering all available units,” says Hite.
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