The Crazy Effect Airbnb Is Having on the World’s Travel Hot Spots
Travelers love Airbnb, and for good reason. You can snag awesome spaces that are *way* more affordable than standard hotels, find some off-the-beaten-path places (especially when looking for a cool spot while traveling solo) and totally feel and look less touristy. But is Airbnb’s popularity around the world causing actual problems? Coming on the heels of Berlin’s city-wide Airbnb ban, a recent analysis surfaced some insights that *might* show the innovative hospitality company is unintentionally ruining some of the world’s most treasured places. Yikes.
If you find yourself doubting just how much people love and use Airbnb nowadays, know that the international booking platform is currently available in a whopping 34,000 global cities in more than 190 countries around the world. Analysts predict that hosts will take more than 500 million bookings per night in less than five years. In the UK alone, more than three million people say they’ve used the site for travel accommodations, with a whopping 52,000 people signed up as hosts. The benefits for hosts are big, as data shows that an average Airbnb host in the UK will earn around £2,000 renting out a room for just 46 nights per year. Whoa.
With plenty of people earning extra income and travelers finding great places to stay, it can be hard to spot the problems — but Mark Tanzer, the chief executive of the Association of British Travel Agents, sees them clearly. According to The Guardian, he worries that the influx of visitors can actually serve as a legit threat to some of Europe’s most historic cities. “Overcrowding in key destinations is becoming a pressing issue,” he’s quoted as saying. “Without control, we know that tourism can kill tourism.”
Published data proves Airbnb’s power to change tourist itineraries and shift hotspots too. For example, 80 percent of bookings in Barcelona were in the Old Town when Airbnb first started operating in the city. Today, a jaw-dropping 70 percent of listings are outside of the area. Talk about a disruptive change!
The quick rise of the “mega operator,” or someone who rents out three or more Airbnb properties, poses even more problems. Julian Ledger, the Chief Executive of YHA Australia, talked about the trouble with important regulations and landlord-tenant laws, saying, “Airbnb actually enables landlords to bypass government regulation and, in effect, run illegal hostels.” Of course, Airbnb was quick to respond with tidbits that show the positive impact on the economy and culture of countries where it’s available, along with its Community Compact, a series of pledges designed to treat cities individually and fairly through home sharing.
Hmm. As with any influential new concept, it’s time that’ll really tell how Airbnb is impacting cities. In the meantime, we should all make it a point to enjoy the amazing experience of being a host and a traveler, while respecting the people we meet and our surroundings, wherever we are.
Do you think Airbnb has a dangerous impact on global cities? Sound off with us on Twitter @BritandCo!
(Photos via Getty, h/t The Guardian)
It can be intimidating to step out on your own and build a business from the ground up. As part of our collaboration with Office Depot, we're talking with Selfmade alum and solopreneur Colette Lawrence, the faith-based motivator and relationship builder behind The M.E.E. Movement, about ways in which women in business can find success.
B + C: How did you know M.E.E. Movement was your business to start?
The M.E.E Movement represents motivation, empowerment, and encouragement for women. It is what represents me. I did not know at first that it was my business to start, but then the thought of monetizing what I loved came to me. It scared me, however. I registered the business in July 2020 and have been slowly building my wings since.
B + C: What's one strategy that's helped you start your business?
Thinking through and researching what the requirements are to start my business, and then asking questions of people who are in the business. Not all advice worked; however, it helped me to figure out what I needed to do and not to do.
B + C: Did you always know life coaching would be your entrepreneurial path?
(Smiles) No, I did not. I 'stumbled" on it. I knew that people were always coming to me for advice and I found that I loved having conversations with them, especially with women, young and old.
B + C: What was your most valuable takeaway from Selfmade?
My most valuable takeaway was the first day of training: Get out of your own way. There were a lot of great moments and important takeaways from every presenter. However, getting out of my own way, pushing past doubts, was for me my most valuable takeaway. Doing something that I had never done before took courage. If I do not focus on what is happening with me mentally then I cannot deliver to my clients successfully.
B + C: What's one piece of advice you would give to female entrepreneurs on the brink of starting?
Get out of your head. You have something to offer. You have what you need to succeed so go ahead and do it.
B + C: How do you stay motivated?
I stay motivated by listening to music and listening to motivational speakers, and sometimes someone will just reach out and talk about the impact that I made in their life. That adds the extra juice or sauce I need to pummel through the day.
B + C: What's your best organizational tip?
Keep a diary and journal. It's the best way for me to keep organized and it also provides a source motivation as I record not only my "losses" but my wins as well.
B + C: Who inspires you in the entrepreneurial space?
Shirley Toliver – She motivates and empowers and makes me always want to show up.
B + C: What has receiving the Office Depot scholarship to Selfmade done to help you start or grow your business?
The scholarship was a blessing in that all the areas that were covered offered valuable information that I needed, from social media to HR. As a new business owner, I needed to know this to increase my own personal awareness in what it takes to run a successful business. The candidness of the presenters made it easy to see myself in their shoes and helped me to realize that I can also get there.
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Head to Office Depot's Selfmade page to check out even more amazing business resources (and discounts!) to help you accomplish more on your entrepreneurial journey. These offers are available for a limited time only, so be sure to take advantage of all this goodness while supplies last. Want to join the next Selfmade cohort this summer? Check out all of the scholarship details right here.