14 Responses

  1. Karen
    Karen at |

    In many US cities – San Diego is one of them – the hotel tax is used at least in part to pay for football/baseball/soccer stadiums for millionaire team owners. The public referendums pass because the voters of the city and/or county are told that there would be no additional cost to them. In the meantime, the team owners keep raking in the profits, and the NFL made more than 13 BILLION dollars in 2016. And, by the way, the NFL is registered as a non-profit, so they pay no tax on that income.

  2. Larry
    Larry at |

    On my most recent stay in Bangkok, I was made REALLY uncomfortable by the signage in the Airbnb. There were signs EVERYWHERE, in the lobby, in the elevator, on every floor, warning that this was not a Hotel and if you were not registered the police would be called on you. It made me very uncomfortable.

    I’ve decided to scale back my Airbnb usage to only cities where you really can’t find a hotel anywhere near where you’d want to stay, the prices of hotels are exorbitant (eg TLV), or its a typical vacation rental destination already (eg Mexico).

    I’m not really interested in continuing to support the gray market if I don’t have to.

  3. Joelfreak
    Joelfreak at |

    I can buy unlicensed and illegal things all you want, but at some point it collapses the legal economy. Sure there are taxes on hotel rooms, but staying somewhere that makes housing even more expensive for those that need it isn’t registering your complaint, its actually raising costs in that city.

  4. Tom
    Tom at |

    People should have the right to rent things, period.

  5. Vet&Banker
    Vet&Banker at |

    From a “market” standpoint, we’ve decided that AirBnB is just not worth it unless their are no hotels we’d like nearby, or the cost is *extremely* low compared to a decent hotel. The “who knows if it’s a dump or it’s great” coin flip isn’t worth it to us after a long flight and a late night arrival; we’ve gone back to just booking a hotel for the most part. We’ll give it a try as a test expat run in the future, but in the meantime we’re back in the hotel corporations’ pockets.

  6. Elizabeth Houck
    Elizabeth Houck at |

    Total disruptor and instigator for the gig economy. Airbnb-hotels, Uber-Taxi

  7. Jason
    Jason at |

    I’m surprised that you would choose AirBnB in Bangkok over a hotel – you can get a new 4*/5* hotel for fraction of what you’d pay for a really mediocre old one in the US. I personally don’t get the risks of using AirBnB when traveling, especially abroad and would only seriously consider AirBnB if there were no hotels, hotels were sold out or insanely priced due to event/convention, or if I were traveling in a large group and traveling to a non-urban area (i.e. a mountain retreat).

    Things you get with a hotel:
    -24/7 help
    -Security (underrated IMO)
    -Amenities (pool, gym, restaurant, lounge, bar)
    -In a foreign country, usually English-speaking staff
    -As a tourist or on business, a place that is usually centrally-located to where you want to go
    -Ease of cancellation
    -Ease of room change
    -Return on the price you pay in form of points

    I find AirBnB is really hostile to guests (i.e. much more pro-host) – cancellation policies are usually very strict.

  8. Jessica Coane
    Jessica Coane at |

    Good point

  9. Seth Kaplan
    Seth Kaplan at |

    I’ve had the same feelings Seth describes. I have used Airbnb, usually have been happy with it as a customer and am generally glad it’s in the marketplace. However, I think an important difference between Uber and Airbnb is that Uber is facilitating something that is, fundamentally, generally legal (operating a limousine service using your car) whereas Airbnb is facilitating something that is (well beyond tax issues and so forth) very often fundamentally illegal and/or against condo association or co-op board rules – and in cities, a large percentage of properties are governed by these rules. Of the four Airbnbs in our DC neighborhood where people visiting us during the past year have stayed, three are probably illegal (one has already been shut down by its building’s board). And whereas almost everybody fighting against Uber simply doesn’t want to compete against Uber (i.e., taxi medallion holders), the condo associations and co-op boards really just don’t want neighbors renting out their homes, by the night, to strangers. Of course the hotel industry opponents are just like the taxi medallion holders – that part of the analogy holds. But I don’t know how to get around the fact that in the most desirable locations with lots of density and thus multi-family housing, a lot of Airbnbs are (even from the perspective of people with only a quality-of-life stake, not a financial stake in opposing the service) against the rules and unwelcome in a way that’s not true of Uber.

  10. DaveS
    DaveS at |

    I have only had reasonably good to excellent results staying in airbnb. Last week I paid $23 a night for a room in a single family home in a perfect location, where hotels are all well over $100. Wonderful host family. And some kinds of stays would be very difficult to arrange apart from this platform (a yacht in a marina in Spain, for example), or prohibitively expensive. In principle I enjoy meeting local people and getting local knowledge on things to see and do. I do understand the concerns; if it’s illegal, I don’t want to be part of that. The concept is still young and evolving. I have also noticed increasing cross listing between airbnb and booking.com, for example. Same room, same location, frequently same price.

  11. dizzy
    dizzy at |

    I became an airbnb host recently because I needed income upon moving to a new (well, new after 7 yrs away) city. This article makes me feel *slightly* better because I am in a properly zoned area- there’s a Days’ Inn, a Hampton Inn, and a Sheraton on my block- and I only run the one property, which after initial “accept all the peoples to get some reviews” it will basically be only for when I travel, and for the biggest events (it’s across from a convention center). That being said it’s on the edge of the last affordable area near the middle of my city, a neighborhood I really like- I really don’t want to contribute to its gentrification. But it’s going to happen anyway so I might as well preserve a little bit of the flavor? NB: My city made it legal to do airbnb, they take the taxes out for you.