There is a dark side to Airbnb that no one talks about. Airbnb is a modern reinvention of of ancient custom. In ancient times hotels didn’t exist. In the middle east traveler’s would wait in public squares to see if anyone invited them into their home for the night.
Airbnb has many pluses. It cuts lodging costs tremendously, especially in exclusive tourist areas. It’s a great way for homeowners to earn extra money. And it connects like minded souls reviving the age old tradition of hospitality.
What could the downside be you ask? Well, Airbnb raises rent prices and displaces locals. How does this happen? Homeowners prefer to rent their homes to holiday makers for far more money then a local could pay in monthly rent. This creates a housing shortage for residents as more people prefer to cater to vacationers. Rent prices increase in the competitive market. As a result locals who can’t afford the increased prices are displaced and must move farther out of city centers and other prime locations causing longer commute times or in some cased complete relocation. Hotels have zoning laws and restrictions, but anyone who qualifies can list their home on the Internet. This gives perspective renters one more reason to be disgruntled with tourists who are unaware of the everyday struggles. Of course, more places to rent means more tourists and more money brought into the local community. I am currently staying with a single mother in Cadiz who is able to rent out one of her rooms. For her the extra income is greatly appreciated. For me a clean, budget friendly room enables me to travel just that much longer.
What are your thoughts on Airbnb? I would love to hear your comments in the section below.