November 04, 2017

Protests against AirBnB doomed to fail: “Sharing economy” will win

David MenziesMission Specialist


AirBnB is a service that allows people who have accommodation to rent out their houses, condos, or cottages to people who need accommodation, and similar to ride-sharing services Uber and Lyft, it’s all about the free market.

That’s why anywhere AirBnB operates it ends up with a fight on its hands and runs into resistance from the hospitality sector.

The latest outraged group to vent about AirBNB is an organization called the Manitoba Lodges and Outfitters Association.

It’s calling for new regulations and standards in the province for people who rent out their homes and cottages through sites like AirBNB. To get its message out, it asked member-businesses to participate in a one-day strike.

In other words:

The association conducted a protest which forced customers to embrace the very service they were protesting against...

That’s what happened when several cities took their cabs off the road to protest Uber, thereby forcing people in need of a ride to use Uber, generating millions of dollars in awareness and increasing their customer base.

Traditional players accustomed to having a monopoly on these services, will kick and scream about 21st century realities and the sharing economy.

There’s a degree of entitlement at play here too with industries demanding consumers support them because their employees need to make a living whether their service is desired or not.

It’s not what’s right for you as the consumer but what’s right for them as the provider.

Comments
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commented 2017-11-06 11:07:13 -0500
- Corporate cronyism in action. When competition comes around, run to the government & get them to legislate against them.
commented 2017-11-05 20:03:13 -0500
Grant Brown, thanks for taking the time to post your perspective. Your’e right, it’s complicated, and hopefully, there will be a remedy to address the gaps in legislation and by-laws.
As a side note, I prefer to book with B & B’s who do provide safe accommodations and operate as a legit business.
I wish you every success with your B & B.
commented 2017-11-05 14:41:26 -0500
It’s complicated. I have a licensed B&B in Stratford, which is subject to a variety of provincial building and fire codes and municipal zoning and business by-laws: E.g. I must have ample parking on-site for all of my guests, so as not to impose a burden on neighbours; I must have fire extinguishers on every floor and interconnected smoke and CO detectors that go off simultaneously throughout the building and automatically shut down the furnace / AC fans; my fire-safety system has to be independently inspected by a private firm at my cost every year; I have to provide a second mode of egress in case of fire for all rooms located on the second or higher floors; I have to carry at least $2million liablity insurance to protect guests; I have to pay a $500 annual business license; etc., etc. The only problem I have with the Air BnB phenomenon is that most B&Bs that advertise there do not comply with the laws and therefore do not have to incur any of the related expenses, or be accommodating of neighbouring properties. So naturally they can offer a cheaper price. I’m libertarian enough to believe that if people want to rent rooms in fire traps that lack liability insurance to save a few bucks, that is their choice. I just wish the City would level the playing field, either by forcing the Air BnBs to comply with the same set of laws as the rest of us, or by scrapping the laws and letting the market sort it out. Since there is approximately zero chance the fire and insurance requirements will ever be relaxed, or that the City will forego revenue from business licences, etc., etc., the only viable solution is to clamp down on the scoff-laws advertising on Air BnB.
commented 2017-11-05 11:38:06 -0500
Another Rebel posted an interesting comment; use Air B&B to rent their property in Alberta, circumventing Notely’s legislation that’s coming up. This way, property owners can decide for themselves who to rent to.
commented 2017-11-05 11:18:33 -0500
Be nice to have an alternative uber government
commented 2017-11-04 17:22:12 -0400
Let the market decide what is valuable and then what is it
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