For a long time, things on the accommodation spectrum were very much static for a long time. There were hotels, hostels, guesthouses, pensions, and bed and breakfasts. Booking accommodation for a holiday or stay overnight usually involved checking into a hotel.
Then, in the late 00s, the phenomenon Airbnb broke through and rose to fame, blasting out most of their competition in their wake. This is the story of two guys who, when low on cash, rented out some space in their apartment with the promise of breakfast, made a bit of money, and formed a huge idea.
The idea of Airbnb is based around people who have a little extra space in their home, or are going away for a period of time and decide to rent it out for a little money. From there it has grown from a spare room to whole apartments, whole houses, and even lodges and mansions.
While the idea may sound great, Airbnb has now become something completely different. Property owners are seeing how they can make double or even triple their normal rent income by uing their space as a short term rental. This has then effectively raised rental prices and narrowed rental options in many areas like Venice and Krakow, often leading to gentrification, or a tourist takeover of a major city. Those looking for long term rentals are forced to move further out where prices are more affordable.
Airbnb came from an organic place and has bloomed into something less so, leading to much criticism and backlash. How will it regain its standing? It’s simply up to governments to enforce stricter rules on property owners.