A/C de Lisboa: From Berlin to Barcelona; will Airbnb ruin our most loved cities? The accommodation website has become so successful that hotels are losing business and tourist sites face being ruined

In The Guardian (26.6.2016) Por Jamie Doward (texto) e Carmen MartA-nez BanAs/Getty Images (fotos)

«Airbnb encourages homeowners to open their doors to visitors. Airbnb encourages homeowners to open their doors to visitors.

To use the industry jargon, it is the ultimate “disruptor”. Airbnb, the website that allows homeowners around the world to rent out their spare rooms, has had a seismic impact on the travel market.

Hotel chains are reportedly feeling the squeeze as the US upstart – which has attracted $2bn in funding in less than a decade – eats into their business model by offering travellers the opportunity to “live like a local” and “belong anywhere” in one of the two million rooms and properties that are listed on its site.

The savvy exhortations, which feature in slick adverts on bus stops and billboards across the world’s cities, have helped Airbnb expand at a seemingly relentless pace. Already operating in 191 countries and 34,000 cities, analysts at financial services company Cowen & Co predict that, by 2020, Airbnb hosts will be taking 500 million bookings a night, rising to a staggering one billion by 2025.

It is a truly global phenomenon. Yet, just as Uber’s attempts to shake up the taxi market has met resistance, Airbnb finds itself a victim of its own success as cities and countries wake up to the fact that the cute new kid on the block has been transformed into an 800lb gorilla. [...]»

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