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FEATURE

Airbnb or not to be

To

In the wake of the announcement of 200 new jobs for its Dublin office, Valerie Jordan speaks to Airbnb’s Head of Global Customer Experience, Aisling Hassell, about the accommodation phenomenon.

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irbnb is a hot topic; so hot, it’s been heard used as a verb: ‘Have you Airbnb’d before?’ Whether or not you’ve used this aberration you’ve undoubtedly wondered about the accommodation phenomenon or contemplated whether or not ‘to Airbnb’. Airbnb was founded in 2008 in San Francisco, naturally, as a platform for people to list, discover and book accommodation all over the world. The trust-based marketplace connects people with properties at a range of price points, from a luxury castle to a simple bed in a shared apartment. Guests benefit from both a unique property and the local experience; hosts can monetise their extra space and showcase it to an audience of millions. “If someone is looking for a unique travel experience they should look at the properties we have available on Airbnb,” says Aisling

Airbnb by Numbers

1 million + LISTINGS CURRENTLY

+

190

COUNTRIES ARE LISTED ACROSS THE GLOBE

+ +

34,000 CITIES ARE LISTED

6of 10 LISTINGS ARE IN EUROPE

+

4,500 IRISH LISTINGS

Hassell, Head of Global Customer Experience. “Right now we have over one million properties in 190 countries. We’ve everything from a room in a private home to a standalone villa, to a treehouse, to a castle. There are very unique properties, but there’s also a great variety of properties to suit every type of budget or traveller. And if you’re travelling on your own it’s great to stay with a local, as you’ll see a place through the eyes of a local.” Airbnb is probably the best example of the prominence of the sharing economy, in which people share or rent assets from each other. Its growth has been made possible by the internet, enabling people to connect asset with need. Airbnb allows anyone become a hotelier, or host, and guests pay less than they would through a traditional provider, encouraging repeat use. The market self regulates through peer-to-peer reviews, which also promote trust and transparency. “Look at the growth of the sharing economy and what it’s InBUSINESS | Q1 2015

14/04/2015 14:50

InBUSINESS Q1 2015  
InBUSINESS Q1 2015