Over the last few weeks I have added a number of articles on the sharing accommodation sector to our sharing economy and OTA’s page. I am conscious that +95% of what is now in our extensive library of articles are largely negative. Trust me when I find positive piece, I do add them.
My particular favourite in the latest batch is the Metro article on the cheapest Airbnb in the UK at £8 a night. I thought it might be “false news” until I checked it out and found it does exist and is on offer still today.
All mod cons; the host even gives you the option of whether she parks her car in front or at the back of the house, nearer the back yard with the cat litter style toilet tent, presumably so you don’t have as far to walk from the blow up mattress across the back seat of the Nissan Juke family hatchback! This is the same yard with a tent in it, that forms part of the host’s 4 ecliptic offerings: the car’s rear seat, a small tent in an equally small back yard, an airbed in the lounge dinner of the host’s home and a caravan in what appears to be another but larger back yard.
One of the best line in the metro article, from the point of view of posing the question OMG, what has the sharing economy brought us to, is:
‘There’s electricity. Even for the tent outside I run a lead from my house”.
Followed by sheer comedy value/sound thinking on the part of the host, by:
“…… is also arranging a clamp to be fixed on one of the Nissan Juke’s wheels to stop people driving off when she hands them the key”.
I appreciate that what is being offered above is offered openly and guests are not being deliberately mislead as such. But I do still have anxieties over what is safe and in this case, what should be permissible? If I slept in my own car outside my own house or lived in a caravan on the drive or in the back yard, I am pretty sure that the authorities would have good reason to question it? Doing the same for commercial gain, however small, is surely a significant step beyond that? I know colleagues have worked tirelessly to try and outlaw poor quality, dangerous traditional accommodation sector provision over several decades. To see the sharing accommodation platforms opening up a new route to market for questionable provision is more than a little worrying, or at least that is what I feel. about it. I’d welcome colleagues’ views on the specifics of extremely basic provision; is it OK to offer tourist accommodation in my garden shed if the buyer is forewarned it’s a shed? And if it is not, should the sharing platforms be facilitating its promotion?
See the latest articles at: https://britishdestinations.net/tourism-the-sharing-economy-and-its-wider-implications/
You may be pleased to hear that efforts to fund a QC opinion around various sharing accommodation issues, that’s being led by colleagues in the SW and supported by British Destinations and many others is progressing well.