Geography Education
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Air BnB and the Selling of “Neighborhood”

Air BnB and the Selling of “Neighborhood” | Geography Education |
Neighborhoods that are perceived by outsiders as economically successful have created a cultural niche that draws in visitors with a mixture of shops and amenities that appeal to a particular demog...

A vibrant cultural ambiance is not just a backdrop for selling commodities in shopping districts.  The feel of a neighborhood and a sense of place can be the commodity as Air BnB is artfully demonstrating. 

Tags: neighborhood, place, culture, economic, planning

Don Brown Jr's comment, November 20, 2012 11:34 AM
This is an interesting website but I can’t help but wonder what characteristics of a neighborhood is included or excluded when property is advertised to a specific audience. Does this advertisement reflect the values of the tourist or the residence and common people who already live in the community?
Samantha Gandolfo's comment, October 5, 2014 3:33 AM
The video in this article presents some new and fascinating topics and ideas. The first half about 'collaborative consumption' is more relevant to the tourism and hospitality industry than the second half about 'reputation'. I find this concept of 'collaborative consumption’ completely fascinating. The idea of sharing and exchanging assets with complete strangers seems strange but also totally viable and logical. If you're going away and not going to be using your apartment for a few months, why not let someone else use it and make a bit of extra cash?

In the tourism and hospitality industry this concept creates a whole new market that has only been explored on the surface. For starters, it is making accommodation much more accessible for the traveler and providing a much wider range of options at affordable prices while providing an authentic 'neighborhood' experience. While the host is available for you to contact, places booked through sites like Airbnb often will not offer any form of concierge service because they are not formal accommodation businesses. For this reason I believe they will appeal to only a particular section of the tourist market, and that is the Midcentric to Allocentric traveler who is looking for a more authentic, off-the-beaten-track experience. Those looking for the ‘package tour’ will likely not be interested in this type of accommodation and ‘sharing’.

One issue I have with this concept is security. From the property owners point-of-view, in a lot of cases they are allowing a complete stranger full access to their home will all their belongings in it and trusting them to respect their property and privacy. On the other hand, the traveler trusts the property owner to provide a safe space for them to stay in. If issues like this are addressed and regulated, I do think this new style of networking and sharing definitely has a place in the growing and evolving tourism and hospitality industry and sites like Airbnb will only continue to develop and grow in popularity in the future.
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