AirBnB faces some challenges

I’ve only stayed twice in AirBnB rooms.

The first time was in Sausalito, California, many years ago, when AirBnB was still a fairly new phenomenon. (I tried out another new service called “Uber” on the same evening.) Because I was only staying one night, the room was a bit pricey, but it was otherwise fine and still a lot cheaper than a hotel just across the water in San Francisco.

The second time was a few weeks ago, when I stayed for a few days over the New Year with a delightful family on the Isle of Lewis. A really lovely spot.

So my experience with the service, however limited, has been good, and I have many friends and family members who use it a great deal more than I do.

But it’s not the same for everyone, and James Temperton’s interesting article in Wired exposes the fact that some rather dubious people have found the success of AirBnB to be an irresistable temptation…

Thanks to John Naughton for the link.

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Airb’n’b has its up-sides – my wife and son use it often. On the other hand, I’m about to buy a flat in Prague and because of the massive buy-to-Airb’n’b market, I’ll struggle to afford something nice. The Mayor of Prague is suggesting allowing people to genuinely put someone up in their spare room, which after all was the original idea, but to restrict the ability of people to rent out entire flats, which is what prices people out of actually living in Prague.

Makes sense to me. I’m not sure it will happen, politics being what it is, but if it did it would rein back the Disnification of UNESO sites such as Prague. It would also allow me to buy a place large enough to let Quentin bring his wife to stay – presently we have just one room!

Does it have a parking space, though? If so, we could bring our little campervan 🙂

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