Amid regulatory issues it faces in different parts of the globe, Airbnb is keen to work with local regulators to thrash out the issues and grey areas, according to its co-founder and chief strategy officer, Nathan Blecharczyk.
“Short-term home rentals are here to stay and of course there should be guidelines… and that is something we strongly recognise too,” said Blecharczyk during the PATA Annual Summit in Cebu City last Friday.
“Every municipality and countryside has to draw the line”, and with issues in Asia vastly differing from Europe, for instance, Airbnb is very much keen to engage in dialogue, he added.
The sharing economy is a “new paradigm, (so) there are some bumps” but “overall it is going more smoothly” for Airbnb as it achieved global scale.
Blecharczy cited Airbnb’s experience in Japan where it had a tough period of transition a year ago but the country is now one of its fastest-growing markets. It is understood that Japan required Airbnb hosts to register their properties and limited home sharing to a certain number of days per year.
Blercharczyk, who is also the chair of Airbnb China, said it is now the biggest homesharing platform in China, with the domestic market making up a majority of demand although it started mainly for China outbound homeshare.
Commenting on Airbnb’s strategic investments including buying into Oyo, Blecharczyk explained: “There is so much happening in the industry right now, so many new models emerging and there is basically a new ecosystem emerging and within that ecosystem, new alliances emerge”.
[buying into Oyo: https://www.ttgasia.com/2019/04/03/oyo-confirms-airbnb-deal/]
He also noted the “interesting trend” of hospitality groups like Marriott International moving to offer apartment-like accommodations and more entrepreneurs joining the fray. “All of these are emerging in new interesting ways and of course we want to be a platform that set them off”.
Notably, Airbnb will soon expand into the “flights space”. “It’s going to be something about improving the experience,” said Blecharczyk, without divulging further details but added that it would not involve buying an airline or selling air tickets.