Publications

- February 1, 2019: Vol. 13, Number 2

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Foe or friend: How Airbnb has transformed the extended-stay sector

by Eduard Elias

Airbnb has been a part of the hospitality mix for 10 years. It was originally conceived as a place for people to list their homes as an extra source of income and for travellers to book short-term accommodation after two friends rented out three airbeds in their San Francisco living room after struggling to pay their rent. Since those humble beginnings, it has been credited with revolutionising our approach to travel by opening people’s eyes to the alternatives to hotels. So much so, that it would be hard to find someone who hasn’t had their own experience of it, whether good or bad.

While the home rental concept has opened people’s eyes to the flexibility of self-catering, there’s no escaping the lottery of some of its lodgings. Will you be checking into a charming apartment with a helpful host and instagrammable décor? Or has the owner’s clever use of a fish-eye lens led you to book a shoebox apartment with unpredictable heating and unfavourable neighbours?

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