In New York, the local hotel industry is freaking out. Hotels, in a wearyingly familiar pattern, want the city to ban competitors using new business models (in this case companies like Airbnb). Of course, they can't say that they are demanding government action to block competition. So they come up with other BS. This statement is right out of the corporate state paybook
NYC & Company, the city’s official tourism agency, issued a statement saying, “This illegal practice takes away much needed hotel tax revenue from city coffers with no consumer protections against fire- and health-code violations.” Neither city officials nor hotel organizations would estimate how much revenue hotels and the city might be losing.
The tax argument is absurd. There is no reason that the city could not apply lodging or some sort of new tax to the rentals if that were their real concern. The part about fire and health regulations is equally absurd. New York apartment and building owners would be very surprised to learn that they are suddenly somehow unregulated. Is the implication really that New York hotels are safe but New York apartments are Triangle Shirtwaist fires waiting to happen?
This is a great example of industry capture. A true city tourism agency should be saying "It is great that this city is developing even more options for visitors. A diversity of lodging experiences and price levels can only help spur tourism in New York. There may be a few regulatory tweaks that are needed to accommodate this model, but we welcome this new lodging model with open arms." Instead, though, they are acting as government paid lobbyists for existing hotel interests.