Airbnb: What is Next?

Boswijk, Albert & Oskam, Jeroen (March 8, 2016). Airbnb: What is Next? Hospitality Upgrade, Tech Talk.

Only recently the understanding has emerged that Airbnb – and similar businesses – would be something big. There is now a consensus that, maybe unlike other initiatives coined as the “sharing economy”, the large scale use of residential housing for traveler accommodation will change the way we do business in the hotel industry. And if things were not clear enough, the company last summer raised 1.5 billion U.S.D. private funding for its further plans.

It is urgent to analyze and to interpret what is happening, not only for hotel companies facing a disruptive competitor, but also for cities, whose initial concern – loss of tourist tax revenues – now seems to be the least of their worries. Two European city destinations illustrate the different interpretations of the phenomenon. While Barcelona cracks down on unregistered tourist apartments with draconic fines, Amsterdam has embraced the “sharing economy” and has reached an agreement with Airbnb, in which the payment of tourist taxes is exchanged for a more permissive attitude.

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