Airbnb: the revolution in accommodation-seeking

Airbnb, the website that lets you rent out your home like a hotel, has been in the news a lot lately.

Bali. Photograph: Getty Images

Bali. Photograph: Getty Images


Airbnb, the website that lets you rent out your home like a hotel, has been in the news a lot lately. In this week's Travel Show, Fionn Davenport discusses this revolution in accommodation-seeking with users from both sides of the transaction. 

How does it work from the wannabe hotelier's point of view? Sarah Lafferty , who funds her winters in Bali with the proceeds of her airbnb'd Dublin home, explains to Fionn that perception is important in this online marketplace, where unsatisfied customers are never afraid to criticise.

"You wouldn't want to just throw it up there and get one bad review and then you're gone.... if you're going to do this, you need to know that you really want to do it, and research it, and do it properly." Sarah has had only positive reviews from her guests. And it seems that hers are not the only satisfied customers. 

The Irish Times' Hugh Linehan, an airbnb user, described the personal interaction with hosts and other users as an effective new tool for making that crucial holiday decision: where to stay. "The place we ended up staying just had a long long line of positive reviews from people who.. sounded like they were looking for the same kind of experience." 

It's not all good news for airbnb. Bans on the site in cities like New York, Barcelona and Berlin reflect the growing threat the site represents to established travel business models and property prices. 

To hear discussion on that and more on the site and how it works, log on to The Travel Show's soundcloud page or subscribe for free via iTunes. 

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