The holiday season is coming up and that means that some of us are going to visit places outside of our home city, or maybe even outside of our country. I am one of many people who uses AirBnB for these trips. AirBnB seems to be a great alternative to a hotel, hostel or bed and breakfast. It’s cheap and easy to book. However, lately, I’ve been looking for alternatives to AirBnB. Because it turns out that the company isn’t as great as it it seems. That’s why I want to tell you about FairBnB: the fair alternative to AirBnB.
The original concept of AirBnB
I have to say, the original idea behind AirBnB is amazing. Anyone can offer their home as a temporary bed and breakfast. Whether that’s because you’re traveling yourself, you need some extra temporary income or because you just like having guests around. All great. I’d even say it’s efficient too. I mean, if you’re not home yourself, why would your home have to be empty? It’s very efficient to let other people stay in your home in the meantime. This way, we need less hotels and hostels. It’s a great way of using what we already have, a very sustainable idea. So far, so good.
Why AirBnB sucks
The idea that I just described seems amazing. But there’s one big downside. AirBnB is not used as was intended. You’d think that local people would occasionally offer their homes for rental. But that is not what happens. Instead, investors are the ones who use AirBnB as a way to make money. Investors buy up houses in a certain area and then offer these houses for rent all year long. The local community does not gain anything. As a matter of fact, they lose. Why? Because the investors drive up the housing prices. Because well, the more houses they own, the more they can offer for rent, the more money they make. Local inhabitant cannot keep up with these housing prices and are forced to move out of the city.
Some cities are trying to combat these negative consequences. Amsterdam for example. Amsterdam has made a rule that AirBnB owners can only offer the AirBnB for rent for a maximum of 30 days each year. It’s a great signal and I encourage that. But besides the law, I think AirBnB should change too. I’ll tell you what needs to change.
What needs to change
I think the solution to this problem is two-sides. If AirBnB would implement two simple rules this problem would be solved. The first rule would be that you have to be an inhabitant of the area to be able to offer a place for rent. This way it is ensured that only local inhabitants gain from offering their homes for rent. The second rule would be that every home owner is only allowed to offer two places for rent. One can be the home that you live in and you offer for rent when you’re not home. The other can be a place you rent the whole year long.
Why two? Well, I am not against people buying a place and offering it for rent. I mean, it can be someone’s dream to have a small cabin in the woods to offer for rent and make people happy. I don’t think that is wrong. However, I do think it’s wrong if someone just keeps on buying houses to make more money. One is enough. No-one should be able to offer 200 houses for rent and make a fortune. Not when it comes to something so basic as having a roof over your head. People should not be able to make a fortune over a basic need.
FairBnB: the fair alternative to AirBnB
I have some good news. AirBnB does not have to implement these rules. It can simply die off. Why? Because the alternative is already there: FairBnB. FairBnB has the rules that I just described above already implemented and they have even more amazing features. The first thing is that they do something good with the fees you pay for using the platform. AirBnB uses the fees you pay to make their shareholders rich. FairBnB, however, uses 50% of the fee to keep the platform up and running. The other 50% goes to local projects. These projects are social and ecological, and they’re selected by the local community. The criteria for these projects are extensive.
Also, FairBnB is a cooperative. Its intention is not to make money for shareholders. It’s to transform the tourism branche. If you want to read more about them, check out their website. It has a lot of information on it. Oh, and by the way, this is not a sponsored post. None of my articles are, ever.
Personal experience with FairBnB
There is however one big downside to FairBnB: they’re not very big yet. They’re only active in Europe, in a few countries. So the options are very limited. FairBnB is expanding though, but that comes slowly. AirBnB is very well known, FairBnB is not yet. That makes for the fact that I’ve never booked one holiday at FairBnB yet. They’re just never active in the cities I go to. So, in a way this article is very hypocrite. I book places at AirBnB, still. I don’t want to. But if there’s no FairBnB or hostel in the area, I have little choice. But the intention is definitely there and I truly believe that this will get better in the future. Let’s make sure AirBnB dies off and FairBnB becomes the new norm. Let’s make traveling fair.
Did you know about FairBnB: the fair alternative to AirBnB?