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Thread: Air B&B

  1. #1
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    Default Air B&B

    I've just stayed in an area, in an air b&b, with its fair share of anti air b&b graffiti. The argument on the walls focussing on rent rises and housing shortages caused by the conversion of flats into one room hotels.

    Yyaldrin doesn't like the free dock less bicycles and scooters which are left littering the roads and pavements of tourist cities and associates them with air b&b.

    The other effect, one I'm more ambivalent about, is what air b&b seems to do to local economies. I assume it allows fairly marginal, hipster, to use a shorthand, businesses to survive outside the main hubs, in ex industrial areas, in usually gentrified residential areas. Cocktail bars, coffee shops, book shops, resturaunts, even record shops.

    What I like, leaving aside the ethics of it, about air b&b is that it facilitates a new kind of holiday and a new kind of tourism, embedded in local areas, eating, drinking there, changing those areas by your presence certainly, but not necessarily for the worst, or at least the losses may be offset by gains.

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    There is an international hipster standard when it comes to things like pizza and beer and coffee and it replicates itself across the world so that these become standardised spaces just as McDonalds and Starbucks are standardised spaces. There's a degree of safety and familiarity there. You know what you're getting, and you like it.

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  4. #3
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    air b&b is terrible and has destroyed entire cities. tourism has reached a tipping point, the amount of people who can afford to go on holiday has risen to such big numbers that some cities are simply overrun. like you mentioned before, in amsterdam everything is english now. some of the elder people can't even order a coffee in a local bar any more because it's personal has also been replaced by english speaking people. it's full of nutella stores (wtf is up with that anyway?), horror dungeons, "escape rooms", artisanal coffee places (), craft beer pubs and so on. the culprits are easyjet, uber, air b&b and instagram. have you noticed the poverty and despair on the streets of athens luka? now type in #athens on instagram.

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    Tourism is reaching a tipping point certainly. One ethical issue here, not one related to air b&b per se, is that this is a result of new wealth in places like China, India, Mexico and so on. You don't want to be the person saying travelling the world was fine when we did it but now we have to put a stop to it cos there's simply too many of you, and besides you don't know how to behave.
    Last edited by luka; 03-10-2019 at 07:55 AM.

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    What struck me about Athens was how invisible the poverty was in contrast to London or Paris say. I don't doubt that it's there. However the idea that that poverty is caused by craft beer and air b&b is risible.

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    Clearly there is a transnational elite transforming cities in their image. The changes in our cities are generational changes. As usual only those with resources get a say, because money is votes in these scenarios. But I'm far less concerned by craft beer bars and coffee shops than I am by the homogenised high streets of London where rents are so high only the leviathans, Pret, Costa, Tesco, Wetherspoons, can survive. There are issues with both but the latter is infinitely more destructive.

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    The inroads English is making are astonishing. It's inarguably the global language now. There is a need for a lingua franca in a globalised world. English is it. As with all these things you dread the loss of diversity, the flattening and homogenisation, that goes along with that, but again, this is not a result of air b&b but of globalisation, travel, capitalism, American hegonomy. This is particularly acute for marginal lanaguges like Dutch and Greek, which find themselves in a position akin to isolated tribes in forest strongholds.
    Last edited by luka; 03-10-2019 at 08:14 AM.

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    How do we preserve quaint native customs such as speaking Dutch, sitting at cafe tables clacking away with worry beads, tossing the caber, the hardcore continuum, if the younger generations want to discard them? You can't ask people and places to turn themselves into museum exhibits. There are no easy obvious ways to stop this bulldozer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by luka View Post
    What struck me about Athens was how invisible the poverty was in contrast to London or Paris say. I don't doubt that it's there. However the idea that that poverty is caused by craft beer and air b&b is risible.
    why is it risible? air b&b is a huge factor in rising rents, rising rents means homelessness. around 25 households each day are forcefully evicted in berlin.

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    Quote Originally Posted by luka View Post
    Tourism is reaching a tipping point certainly. One ethical issue here, not one related to air b&b per se, is that this is a result of new wealth in places like China, India, Mexico and so on. You don't want to be the person saying travelling the world was fine when we did it but now we have to put a stop to it cos there's simply too many of you, and besides you don't know how to behave.
    i agree with this yes

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    Quote Originally Posted by yyaldrin View Post
    why is it risible? air b&b is a huge factor in rising rents, rising rents means homelessness. around 25 households each day are forcefully evicted in berlin.
    Not as big a factor as people like yourself surely? It's the international party set, the Apple Mac mafia, who have driven rents up first and foremost. (And it's you lot who provide the largest market for the craft beer and the good coffee)

    It's natural and healthy to despise the bottom rung, small scale capitalists, the Tories who lack true Tory wealth, those looking to get ahead, the buy to let crowd, the air b&b lot, small business owners, but I can't believe they are the real source of the problem.

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    Didn't Amsterdam impose a substantial tourist tax recently? Sounds like it has to be way to go, as no city has the infrastructure to deal with such an influx of people. As a result, though, it looks like tourism will inevitably become a more middle class thing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by luka View Post
    How do we preserve quaint native customs such as speaking Dutch, sitting at cafe tables clacking away with worry beads, tossing the caber, the hardcore continuum, if the younger generations want to discard them? You can't ask people and places to turn themselves into museum exhibits. There are no easy obvious ways to stop this bulldozer.
    This will sound dismissive, but the truth is that there remains lots of places to do most of those things. I'm not blind to the issues around telling someone old person who's lived in Elephant their whole lives that they should move to Burnley, but there are places beyond the capital cities.

    That said, I was in Paris for the first time in June and it was fucking glorious. The botanical gardens were full of old folks knitting and reading Marcel Pagnol. The area of my Airbnb was full of old Asian brasses, but broadly speaking once you got outside the really obviously touristy bits (which, tbf, were also pretty amazing) one got a visceral sense even in the centralish arrondissements that 'the people' were still living their lives in a sense you don't really get in London. Maybe it's a trick of perspective, but I'm not convinced.
    Last edited by comelately; 03-10-2019 at 02:50 PM.

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    I use airbnb, obviously and do try and do other stuff too.

    I think the thing I hate about it most is that further sinking of the commodity form into every area of people's lives.

    Live in a decent house? Rent it out to people and stay with a mate.

    Got spare time? Get a job as an uber driver / personal trainer / bitcoin speculator / charity shop pillager.

    Got some records? Find out how much they are worth on discogs.

    There is something pernicious about that app based one-person-business too.

    I think Luka is onto something with a general increase in quality though - and this is not a blanding out, it has diversity and local flavour wired into it. If you can afford it. There is something in there at variance of the very British "always moan, never complain" attitude which has meant that we put up with shit coffee and bread and beer for decades.

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