To Airbnb or not to Airbnb? This is a question that many travellers are asking at a time of critical acclaim towards the digital platform. Here, we try to put the advantages and disadvantages of using Airbnb in a broader context. Please keep an open mind as there are many myths about Airbnb and whether it’s ethical to use Airbnb or not.
Money from tourists will get among more people
This is the main argument of the whole platform. Why should only hotels benefit from tourists’ money? Why couldn’t they be reached by the wider public? The basic idea is beautiful. You have a large apartment with a free room, and so you rent it to people who come to the city for business meetings, conferences, but mainly for tourists who want to know the beauty of your city. This will help with the rent, which tends to be high in big cities, and saves visitors accommodation that is more expensive in hotels. But this is not how it has worked for a long time.
To better understand this, we are now defining two types of offers that we find on Airbnb. They are taken from insideAirbnb.com and are:
Offering shared housing or room
Shared housing refers to an advertisement that corresponds to the original idea of the portal: that is, the host rents a free room in his / her apartment. A tourist who uses such an offer usually stays in the apartment together with its owner during his stay. You can also stay for free in shared room thanks to Couchsurfing.
By commercial offer, we mean advertisers who offer the whole flat or flats for short-term rental. Hosts buy real estate as an investment and do not actually live there. Sometimes, they own more such apartments or entire houses.
With digital platforms, you only need an apartment to enter the tourist accommodation market. Such an initial investment is, of course, much lower than if you wanted to open a hotel or hostel. There, you need to hire a wide variety of employees – receptionist, chef, maid, accountant, etc. The hotel certainly requires construction work, you must pay for employees, even when it is not the season. You don’t have to do this with Airbnb. What does it really do? The platform makes it easier to enter the tourism market, so it reaches more investors.
The result is a huge increase in commercial offers on the portal compared to shared housing.