Airbnb has inspired vitriol and even panic among some hoteliers, but has had little tangible negative impact on hotels, especially those that cater to business travellers, according to the author of a report that studied Airbnb’s disruptive effect in 14 European cities, the Observer reports.
“Business travellers and many other people still prefer hotels and the city centres. Hotels can make a virtue of offering services like room cleaning and concierges,” said study co-author Diane Coyle of the University of Manchester in the UK, who wrote the report on behalf of sharing-economy companies.
To compete, Airbnb has recently started advertising some properties as “business traveller friendly,” touting such amenities as location convenient to business districts and work area equipped with high-speed wifi, desks, and printers.
Government efforts to regulate Airbnb has largely been driven by the desire to enforce existing hospitality rules and generate revenues, the report said. Some cities have capped the number of days that properties can be rented annually, for example, while others require owners to register with local authorities and pay lodging taxes.
“The entry of Airbnb into the market looks very positive, as long as the company continues to recognize that it needs to act like a good citizen and ensure that people offering accommodations through its service are responsible, pay their taxes, avoid affecting neighbors and so on,” said Coyle.