Air B&B: Would You Rent Overnight Accomodations From a Stranger, AKA “Local Tour Guide”?
I write about what might seem like a lot of topics. But here’s what is stirring behind it all: community…connectivity…friendship.
From Portable Faith, a faith book for those who want to “live” church in the public sphere, to pop culture commentary on–well, in this case, a new twist on Bed and Breakfasts–for me (and this website) it all boils down to living life together.
But what about you? Are you as attracted to community as I am? And if so, would you consider this?
Would you rent overnight accommodations from a stranger?
That’s the premise behind Air B&B.
Here’s the basics. Two guys–Joe Gebbia and Brian Chesky–knew hotels were booked when a prominent design conference came to their town. They decided to solve the problem via a little creative community. They successfully rented some space in their place to accommodate out of town conference attendees.
Now, hear what happened from their site…
As it turned out, there were many people out there looking for places to stay where the hospitality was genuine and the M&Ms didn’t cost $6. In staying this way, their guests also gained insight into the city from a fresh, local perspective, making for a truly authentic and memorable experience. Two air mattresses, a thousand dollars, three new friends, and many high fives later, the entrepreneurs realized an opportunity.
…What began with three guys (another one joined them later) and airbeds has now evolved into a thriving business. Offering a diversity of accommodations–from private homes to private islands in over 33,000 cities in 192 countries–Airbnb unlocks the doors to unique spaces around the globe. Now people can discover a authentic, local side of the cities and cultures they visit while providing their hosts with a new stream of income. Our community is comprised of users, passionate and eager to explore and enrich the world through the sharing of space. We invite you to join the movement and become part of our story.
Oh and for those worried about the safety of renting from well, ordinary people (rather than hotels run by ordinary people), Airbnb has a special page just for you. There are even videos. Enjoy.
So what about it? Would you consider renting your space for overnight guests you didn’t know? Would you consider renting from other people? What about if someone (like me? =) suggested we trade houses for a weekend to explore each others’ regions? What would you say? What attracts you to this more relational, community-driven solution to accommodations and what sends you running in the other direction?