Airbnb as a platform has benefited travelers and hosts in several ways. Hosts get to meet with people from all over the world with diverse backgrounds; hence they learn to appreciate their culture as they interact with them (Lines 1163). Visitors, in the same way, learn to appreciate their hosts culture and their way of living. This boosts cultural diversity and integration among people from different backgrounds and nationalities. The hosts can also make extra income by hosting travelers(Quattrone, Giovanni, et al. n.p). Considering the economic demands, in todays market, Airbnb can be a platform for one to make money to pay bills or even to invest somewhere else, for instance, starting a business(Lines 1163). This extra income is also good for the economy because many get to earn more, hence increasing their consumption of goods and services hence boosting the economy.
The travelers, get to spend a much smaller budget on their accommodation, other than spending much in the hotel. The hotel and hospitality business is competitive, and hotels are charging a lot for hotel stays, and many people may find themselves spending too much on accommodation rather than doing other fun activities (Oskam, Jeroen, and Boswijk 25). People travel mostly for leisure, and it is difficult for people to stay longer during a vacation when they are spending a lot of money for accommodation. Airbnb gives people the opportunity to spend less for accommodation, and thus it increases their vacation stays, and they get to spend more of the money on leisure activities(Lines 1163). Other than spending less on accommodation, travelers enjoy more experience than when in standard hotels.
The Airbnb is not only for tourists, but the business is also finding the platform attractive regarding saving their spending on accommodation, conferences, and retreats. The business travelers too can have a comfortable space where they can interact with one another beyond just doing the official duties(Oskam, Jeroen, and Boswijk 29). Some homes provide open spaces where business travelers can carry out activities such as team building, which is often difficult when they are confined in a hotel conference room.
The site is also easy to access to both the host and the traveler. All one needs is just internet connectivity and an account, to subscribe to the service (Lines 1163). All the transactions can be done online, and the visitors have the opportunity to select rooms depending on their budget and preferences. Hosts too can present conditions to hosts, and their preferences. Both the guest and the host can also get to meet with one another before their dates of stay, and that way, it allows them to interact with one another deeply (Oskam, Jeroen, and Boswijk 31). The Host can also know the exact number of people whom he/she will be hosting within a specific period and also their needs. The guest, on the other hand, will get to know what to expect especially with regards to amenities and rent conditions (Quattrone, Giovanni, et al. n.p). The guest can even go ahead and inquire the tourist destinations and fun places they can visit and how to get them. Hosts provide valuable information about the area hence it improving travel experience to the guest (Lines 1163).
Despite is advantages, Airbnb possesses its own disadvantages. First, financial transaction through the Airbnb often takes longer to be processed up to 2-3 days to be specific especially in the case where the host cancels or denies the reservation at the last min This can create inconveniences to the guest, especially for travelers operating on a tight budget (Quattrone, Giovanni, et al.n.p). Also, some hosts do not keep their Airbnb calendar up to date, thus making mistakes and they have the discretion to accept or deny the request to the visitor, in the cases they deny, the guest has to cancel their bookings and hence expect their money back. The transaction inconvenience that is caused by these cases can ruin the entire experience for the visitor especially if the money is held up for several days (Oskam, Jeroen, and Boswijk 31).
Another disadvantage is that sharing a home with a visitor means sacrificing some privacy, and this affects both the host and the visitor. One may not feel completely free to use amenities, especially if they do not know what their host may feel regarding the issue (Zekanovic-Korona, Ljiljana, and Grzunovn.p). Other privacy sacrifices may include having to share the kitchen and the bathroom with the hosts. While a majority of guest will be honest about their backgrounds when they are dealing with hosts, there are also minor cases of fraud, especially if the hosts are not the real owners of property or visitors have cases of violence or assault (Quattrone, Giovanni, et al. n.p).
Some visitors are also known for damage properties of their hosts, especially when they are away or when the house is entirely rented to visitors. Damages may occur in terms of trashing the house, destroying items or misusing the amenities that are present. Although Airbnb has measures of compensating such hosts, it is not an easy process, and sometimes the hosts may decide not to host any other individual (Zekanovic-Korona, Ljiljana, andGrzunovn.p). Other hosts may upload fake pictures of their homes, to the website and lure visitors into paying for them. Some of the houses may be in bad condition, while others may be highly disorganized. The visitors and the hosts are also required to be aware of the laws that may forbid or restrict renting property, especially with regards to zoning and administrative codes (Quattrone, Giovanni, et al. n.p). Other cities, for instance, may require a host to have licenses or permits, and guests should be aware that they might be liable when they rent properties without knowing it is illegal. Some states may require one to pay income tax for rentals. This implies that one has to do a lot of background checks before renting property (Quattrone, Giovanni, et al. n.p).
Oskam, Jeroen, and Albert Boswijk. "Airbnb: the future of networked hospitality businesses." Journal of Tourism Futures 2.1 (2016): 22-42.
Lines, Greggary E. "Hej, Not Hej Da: Regulating Airbnb in the New Age of Arizona Vacation Rentals." Ariz. L. Rev. 57 (2015): 1163.
Quattrone, Giovanni, et al. "Who benefits from the sharing economy of Airbnb?." Proceedings of the 25th International Conference on World Wide Web. International World Wide Web Conferences Steering Committee, 2016.
Zekanovic-Korona, Ljiljana, and JuricaGrzunov. "Evaluation of shared digital economy adoption: Case of Airbnb." Information and Communication Technology, Electronics and Microelectronics (MIPRO), 2014 37th International Convention on. IEEE, 2014.
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