Online accommodation networks will not be the death of B&Bs
comment 5 Written by on December 22, 2009 – 10:35 am

After my post on the setting up an online accommodation network, I got a great link sent to me by one of my interviewees, Peter of It was a post on an innkeepers’ forum by someone who felt that felt that sites like AirBnB are a major threat to the hotel industry.

what can WE do to stop this nonsense? We don’t need illegal – unlicensed, uninspected, unapproved uninsured, unsafe phony B&B’s [sic] being promoted to the public – any advice?

It reminds me of the hostel owner I met in Colombia who had a huge problem with Couchsurfing, as if it would force all hostels into closure.

Fortunately the reactionary post was calmed by some other B&B owners. Nonetheless it’s still worth reading the thread and its responses because there are some interesting issues raised, including the issues of taxes, which I never considered before. However, what the hosts choose to declare or not is hardly AirBnB’s fault, as long as their own books are in order. (They briefly address the issue on this help page.)

Accommodation networks are not foolproof. They are bit more risky than hotels. They are ‘alternative’. But that’s exactly why the traditional, inspected and registered hotels won’t die out. Everyone in the hospitality industry – whatever their niche, whatever their market – should play to thier advantages. The B&B industry could easily fight back by emphasising their credentials. But in the here and now, there really is no battle to fight.

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5 Responses to “Online accommodation networks will not be the death of B&Bs”

  1. I certainly do not think the allegations that CS will affect hostels and B/Bs is very true. I traveled Europe for 3 months, with 17 different hosts and the rest in hostels. A few times I did not have a host, but when I got to a city the hostel was so booked up that I got an emergency host. A lot of people are not comfortable with being in a strangers home and I believe there will always be hostelers. B and B people are not the typical CSer either. Greetings from a fellow Cser 🙂 I love your site!

  2. I love to use networks like Hospitality Club to meet people when I travel, but I must admit that chancing it on someone’s couch isn’t that appealing so I like to stay in comfort in a hotel or B & B. Having said that the folks I hosted are now friends all over Europe waiting for me to pay them a visit.

  3. Thanks Erin. Thanks Heather. I totally agree. When I go CSing, I feel the need to mix it up with nights in a B&B or hostel. Not so much for the comfort, but because I occasionally crave some anti-social time when I’m travelling too. There comes a time when you need a break from the ‘getting to know you’ small talk. Never underestimate the simple pleasure of retiring to a quiet corner with a book and a beer to while the hours away. Bliss.

    By Vicky Baker on Jan 6, 2010 | Reply
  4. Couches in Europe are so much better than hostels that I whish for their dissappareance. Maybe if they feel threatened they will finally elevate their standards. 16 or 17 Euros for a boring, corporate, cramped place is not going to put France hostels in any “best of” list.

    By Pablo on Oct 5, 2010 | Reply

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