Airbnb is a unique platform that utilizes surplus spaces in private homes to provide rental accommodation to travellers. The platform had 1,400 users in 2009; today Airbnb has 4 million rentals worldwide in 191 countries and 65,000 cities. In 2018, Airbnb was valued at more than $30 billion.
Despite the phenomenal growth story, Airbnb has been accused of not just disrupting the status quo but destroying communities, local neighbourhoods and cities, as well as exacerbating a housing crisis. The allegations, whether substantiated or not, are serious. Let’s look into them and figure out why local communities are increasingly turning hostile against Airbnb.
According to a report, over 1 million Indians have used Airbnb while travelling abroad and there are 30,000 properties in India that have listed with Airbnb. Whether you are using Airbnb or hotel accommodation, a holiday in a foreign destination can be costly. Rather than digging into your savings, you can avail a travel loan on Finserv MARKETS with super fast processing and minimum travel loan documents.
Airbnb and the plights of local governments and communities
The plight of Barcelona city in Spain and Amsterdam in the Netherlands are seen as classic examples of the negative impact of Airbnb on local communities.
In Barcelona, many landlords have made it practically impossible for locals and people from nearby cities who stay and work there to rent their properties. Since they can earn more by listing their property with Airbnb and letting out for short durations, they discourage Spaniards from renting their properties by demanding exorbitant rents.
This is also driving inequality as people with the best properties are not only earning handsomely but driving up property prices. At the same time purchasing or renting a property is getting increasingly out of reach for the less fortunate in Barcelona city. Similar problems are being witnessed in global cities such as Amsterdam, San Francisco and other U.S. cities. Airbnb is also fighting legal battles with local governments in the U.S. for non-compliance of tax rules.
However, for international travellers Airbnb offers the comfort of home at very affordable prices compared to a hotel rent. If you have been planning a holiday in cities such as Barcelona, Amsterdam, Paris and San Francisco, you can avail a travel loans at Finserv MARKETS at attractive interest rates and flexible repayment options. You can also apply for online travel loan by uploading your travel loan documents on Finserv MARKETS and expect a speedy loan approval within 72 hours.
Protests by local communities and city governments getting tough
In Barcelona you see slogans such as “the city is not for sale” and one the streets of Amsterdam protesters have marched out saying that the city has “sold out” to Airbnb, tourism and turned homes into a marketplace.
City governments are getting increasingly tougher on Airbnb listed properties. For instance, in Amsterdam, you can’t let out your apartment for more than 30 days in a year. In Barcelona, hosts have to register and get a licence from the city authorities and new licences are not being issued. And in New York, you cannot rent out your apartment for less than 30 days. Other cities that have issued strict regulations on number of days, licensing and permits include Berlin, London, Palma (has banned short term flat rentals), Paris, San Francisco, Singapore and Tokyo.
Fair rivals taking shape
A new company with a very well thought out name called Fairbnb promises to become a socially responsible and ethical version of a rental platform to benefit entire neighborhoods rather than a select few. The company, which is now only operating in five European cities, has pledged to donate half of its profits to community gardens, neighborhood associations and non-profit food cooperatives in every city where it operates.
Since Airbnb is also becoming popular in India, the government has to ensure that it does not exacerbate the already dire housing problem in our cities. There must be regulations in place to address local community concerns and check indiscriminate commercialization.
If you want to opt for a rental platform such as Airbnb while holidaying abroad, weigh the pros and cons and give first priority to the safety of your loved ones. You never know Airbnb may be illegal in the destination that you are travelling for a holiday. And to take care of your foreign holiday expenses, apply for a travel loan at affordable interest rates with minimum travel loan documents on Finserv MARKETS and enjoy a carefree holiday.
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