Will Airbnb and the sharing economy hurt or help responsible tourism?

A few years ago I visited around 200 ecolodges, homestays, community run guests houses etc around the world as part of my research for a book on the best in sustainable tourism. As a result of my experiences, I knew I would always seek out these places for my own holidays. Not just because of their ethics, but because I had a much better time. I met more inspiring people, got closer to wildlife, stayed in more remarkable places. Over the last two months I have been exploring what has happened … [Read more...]

Which is more revolutionary – Airbnb or a caravan park?

The cover of Time magazine for February 9, 2015 is an article by Joel Stein called 'Tales From The Sharing Economy'. It looks at how various companies are disrupting entire sectors, from Uber for taxis to Yerdle for unwanted home goods. For tourism the big name here is Airbnb, founded in 2008, but already operating in 190 countries, with more than 425,000 people using it every night, and valued at more than $13 billion. Over the last month I have stayed in three Airbnb properties in Australia. … [Read more...]

Airbnb claims homesharing more sustainable than going to a green hotel

Homesharing website airbnb has just released a report that claims staying in the rooms leased out by people on its website is much more sustainable than staying in 'the most sustainable and energy-efficient hotels'. The study was conducted for airbnb by the Cleantech Group from February to April 2014 and based on 8,000 survey responses from airbnb hosts and hotel guests worldwide. Findings published on the airbnb blog include: “airbnb properties consume less energy than hotels per guest night by … [Read more...]