Airbnb does help both hosts and tourists alike. Hosts can meet people from many other countries while making more money than just renting a room to a local person. Hosts also can rent out on days that suit them, so they can have privacy in their homes when they don’t want to rent it out. Travellers no longer have to stay at a hotel and can save money. Additionally, many tourists like to be able to cook for themselves which hotels don’t offer (hostels do, but hostels can be hit or miss). Users enjoy the personalized service from hosts and Airbnb which can help the travellers have a great experience and fix problems for both tenants and landlords when things go wrong.
Airbnb initially helped budget-minded travellers save money but recently, it has been attracting a bigger share of people travelling for work. Companies can save money by using Airbnb to accommodate employees at meetings conferences and retreats. Staying at someone’s home can allow colleagues to have a more familiar experience than staying at a hotel.
There are costs of using Airbnb, if hosts could find customers without Airbnb hosts could receive more money and tourists could pay less than the total via Airbnb. The fees charged by Airbnb are for providing the platform for people to find a place to stay and owners to find customers to stay at their home. Airbnb show the price per night payable to the owner and then when you pay there are fees for cleaning and Airbnb fees. If hosts could build a portfolio of clients through Airbnb and get their contact details off site, in the end they could rent directly to customers they trust and cut out the middle man.
However there are benefits to using Airbnb that helps the hosts and the guests. In the past guests have signed up to rent a room and then ended up destroying a home, by hosting a party, taking drugs, inviting other people to attend or even organising an orgy at the Airbnb home, and owners come back to realise that things like this happened at the house. Airbnb has a fund of up to cover damages in eligible countries. Hosts should understand fully what is covered and not covered by the Airbnb policy before renting out their homes and should consider getting adequate insurance to cover additional risks not covered.
Guests are protected if something happens that blocks them from staying at homes they have booked, including refunds and vouchers for other homes on Airbnb. If something happens to your booking at the last minute, contact customer support and they can help you out. Overall I am grateful this service exists as it has helped me not lose out when a host had to cancel on short notice for me. It is important to read terms and conditions before booking so you can understand what terms you agree to also.