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COVID effects - for the better...

joe

500+ Posts
They say that when one door closes, another opens.
A lot has been said and written in the past few months about how the pandemic is - or might be - used as an opportunity to implement changes in social, economical and environmental issues that were in need of them, but were waiting for the right "political" moment.

One of these is of course the damage done to the availability of affordable rentals for locals in popular cities all over the world, the main culprit being AirBnB. While I am a believer in the basic model of this type of accommodation, it's obvious that this company has gotten too big and too hungry.

This article from New York Magazine relates how major European cities are trying to use the void created in the tourist scene by the pandemic, in order to better regulate short-term rentals in their bounds.

Hopefully we'll see governments taking the opportunity to make changes in other fields as well.
 
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WannaTravel

10+ Posts
I find AirBnB annoying and will avoid them no matter what. So will be looking for long term rental, 2 to 3 months, as soon as we can schedule a trip to France. Hopefully in a small village where there are very few tourists and where we can practice our language skills.
 

Joana

10+ Posts
I was very reluctant to try AirBnB at first. However, our children had had positive experiences, and encouraged us to try them. In small Vermont towns there are usually no hotels, but we found a number of AirBnBs. Our friends enjoyed staying at a farm with their young daughter. We had two great experiences as well and plan to go back to them when we can travel again post-vaccine. Hopefully both of their businesses will have survived.
 

joe

500+ Posts
When we first started travelling abroad about 15 years ago, we stayed at farms, hostels and hotels. In 2010 we stayed at an AirBnB for the first time, and since then have always used this type of accommodation when in a city. I'm never staying in a hotel ever again. The independence this type of accommodation gives you, coupled with usually good locations and prices varied enough for any budget, are great assets. To be able to meet with the owner is also nice, when possible.

However, I am fully aware that this company has morphed into a behemoth and its negative influences have to be curbed. I could not help feeling a bit guilty myself, stepping out of our AirBnB apt. in the heart of Bologna, straight into the city center. Other apts. we have stayed in in Torino and Genoa were situated far enough away from the popular parts of the cities, that I felt better about using them.

No doubt - there has to be a better balance struck between the need for tourism, the opportunity for locals to make money from real estate they have, and the desire to safeguard the cultural, social and economic integrity of popular towns and cities all over the world.
 

Colo

500+ Posts
Contest 2019 Winner!
We have used AirBnB, VRBO, and hotels, as well as, time shares using our points in our travels. For the most part we have had good experiences in all of them. All of them have plus and minus in using them.

Our last trip before the germ to Nice we used a local agency recommended by someone on this board. It was amazing. The place was perfect and their support outstanding. Next trip I may have to dig a little deeper and find a local agency. Nice Pebbles was great find.

Hopefully during this down time many of the more popular locations can figure out how to scale back on the onslaught of tourist, but keep local merchants viable.
 

Pauline

Forums Admin
Next trip I may have to dig a little deeper and find a local agency. Nice Pebbles was great find.

Local agencies have always been my preference. Many of them have been in business for a long time. We have a lot of good ones in the UK. I keep a list by country of the ones I hear about in the Resources Vacation Rental section.

 

italian excursion

100+ Posts
I have used Airbnb as well as local agencies and must say my experiences have been very satisfactory. Knowing some friends both in the US and in Europe who rent out space for extra income using the behemoth, it's understandable that there's a need for such companies. Joe's point about an opportunity at this time has been my hope as there are so many changes, globally, that would be productive. It will be interesting to see how things shake out, certainly.

For almost a decade I've been lamenting over the hoards of tourists in some of my favorite places. Yes, selfish of me, but I saw things happening that were disturbing. Places like Cinque Terre, Venice, etc., were becoming overwhelmed in multiple ways. A reduction in tourism might bring more creativity to mind and break some of the unproductive cycles that have popped up. I do hope there can be a balance that allows the locals to make a decent living and protect the environment and culture.
We shall see....

Cheryl
www.italianexursion.com
 

Jan55612

100+ Posts
I have rented an apartment in Barcelona three winters from a Sabbatical Homes owner. The process was easy and the price was fair. If you haven't tried this platform, I would recommend it to you.
 
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Jan55612

100+ Posts
While I did not arrange to go back to "our" apartment in Barcelona (which we had rented for between 6 and 8 weeks per year), it was only because the owner decided not to rent in the future. We located another apartment in the same neighborhood through VRBO. Sadly, we probably won't be able to return next winter.
 

italian excursion

100+ Posts
Will look into Sabbatical Homes but for now, at least in Italy and Scotland I have friends who provide me lodging. Or know of local places to rent. Has anyone used Sawdays, a British owned company?
 

joe

500+ Posts
This latest issue of Environmental and Resource Economics is dedicated to the environmental economics of the Covid pandemic. Quite a few interesting reads that touch on subjects such as green recovery from the pandemic, the "price of life" as it is expressed in the different responses to the pandemic enacted by governments, the effect of air pollution on the mortality rate in northern Italy during the pandemic, and more.
While dense reading at times (I suggest skipping the equations when math is involved), there are valuable questions raised about how the link between economics and environment should guide us when examining the overall effects of the pandemic.
If you choose to look at only one of the reports, I would recommend this one, about the aspects of choosing a green recovery plan from the pandemic.
 

joe

500+ Posts
Long, but interesting, this article from today's Guardian, describes what the airline industry is going through this past year, with an emphasis on the perspective of KLM. There are insights here regarding what goes into the prices of tickets, the pressure being put on this industry to reduce emissions, and the steps taken to maintain huge fleets that aren't going anywhere..
 

italian excursion

100+ Posts
Well, that was long and interesting. Seems like the changes we have talked about for so long may actually need to be implemented. But humans are creative if not adaptive and I think it will be quite a show to watch what the new normal ends up looking like.......thanks for sharing, Joe!

Cheryl
www.italianexcursion.com
 

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