Nearly five months ago, Airbnb declared it wanted to offer users more than just a way to connect homeowners with people looking for a place to stay. Now the company reveals it is testing an app that provides travelers with information about nearby restaurants, available tours, happy hours, festivals, and other things to do during their visit. [More]
We’re not saying this is the way things should be, but it’s the way things are: If you’re going to use Airbnb or some other service to rent out your house like a hotel, you need to know there’s a chance that the people you let stay in your home while you’re away might also see it as nothing more than a hotel room they can mess up and leave behind. [More]
There are the kinds of bad houseguests who maybe leave their wet towel on the ground or put an empty milk container back in the refrigerator, and then there are the folks who leave your home a bit emptier than they found it. A New York City couple found themselves facing the latter situation, claiming that an Airbnb renter boosted a bunch of their belongings. [More]
Airbnb is moving beyond assisting homeowners in renting out their properties, and is expanding into small town tourism with a new initiative that’s aimed at inventing new projects to draw in more hosts and renters in smaller, less-traveled communities.
Websites collect information about the people who use them, and the people who end up not using them. If you’ve even visited the website of Airbnb, the company has used your data to improve its offerings or its site in some way. [More]
Airbnb has a zero tolerance policy for discrimination of any kind, but that hasn’t stopped some hosts from refusing to rent their homes to consumers based on race or sexual orientation. In order to address these issues, Airbnb has now begun to review its policies, enlisting the help of former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. [More]
Short-term rental platforms like Airbnb, VRBO, and HomeAway are intended as a way to give travelers varied and interesting lodging options, while letting homeowners make a bit of money when they aren’t at home. However, a group of three senators are concerned that the affordable housing market is being squeezed by the increasing number of property owners cashing in on short-term rentals.
Despite Starwood Hotels & Resorts inking a deal in March that will allow it to become the first hotel company offering rooms in Cuba, traditional lodging companies are struggling to play catch up with Airbnb, which began offering rooms for rent on the island nation last year. [More]
Airbnb is suing the city of San Francisco, claiming that a recently approved city ordinance intended to hold the home-rental site more accountable for illegal landlods runs afoul of federal laws that protect website operators from content published by third parties. [More]
Airbnb will be allowed to operate in Chicago after the city council passed two measures on Wednesday that allow short-term rentals, but there will be a few restrictions on that process. [More]
If you want to bash your head against the closest rock whenever you hear that a new service wants to be the “Uber of [fill in the industry],” you are not alone. Both the industry and the general public have struggled to come up with names for the new model of sharing cars, homes, etc.: there’s the sharing economy, the gig economy, and now, the government has its own idea for a term that might be worse than all the rest. [More]
In the old days, if you wanted to complain about a noisy neighbor’s guests you’d either have to storm over there in your nightgown in person, call the police, or gossip meanly with your fellow neighbors. There’s another option now for folks disturbed by rowdy visitors to the neighborhood, with Airbnb’s new online complaint center. [More]
If you’re the kind of person who’s read and tried every recipe in Mastering the Art of French Cooking (or you’ve at least seen that movie about the woman who did) you’ve already gotten pretty close to the legendary Julia Child. But now you can get even closer: you can rent out the chef’s cottage in Provence and cook in her kitchen (or sleep in it, if you want). [More]
Usually, in-person interactions between Airbnb hosts and guests are limited to things like handing off keys, or running into each other in the hallway if the host is staying in the home. Because let’s face it, you normally wouldn’t hang out with the concierge at the front desk of a hotel. But for those people looking for a more personal connection, the home-sharing service is looking into the idea of pairing guests with hosts for leisure activities during their stay, like going on tours and playing sports together. [More]
Airbnb and VRBO are shaking up the hospitality industry by letting anyone with a spare room become an innkeeper. Uber and Lyft are disrupting the for-hire car market by letting you turn your car into a taxi. While these new platforms might be opening up the so-called “sharing” economy, some of them may also be a bit too willing to share user data with law enforcement. [More]
Laws, taxes, and regulations governing short-term rentals and hotels vary from location to location, and home-sharing platforms like Airbnb remind their users that they are obligated to comply with all relevant restrictions in their area. But when it’s clear that many users are not following the rules, should the company be held responsible? [More]