What is the Sharing Economy?
The idea of the Sharing Economy has been around for years. In summary, it relates to peer-to-peer lending of resources. While its beginnings include not-for-profit community initiatives such as ‘Couch Surfing’ and Wikipedia. More recently, the model has been successfully adopted and adapted by profit-making businesses, such as Uber and Airbnb.
What is Airbnb?
Airbnb has revolutionised the way property owners rent accommodation, enabling accommodation owners to rent out their property for short stays, with peace of mind. Its appeal to the tech savvy generation makes it a perfect platform for caravan enthusiasts to share the wonderful experience of a caravan stay with those who would otherwise be unlikely to try it out. Why not give it a go? You may meet a few interesting guests! At the very least, you’ll be in pocket - the average Airbnb host offering caravan accommodation in the UK can expect to charge £72 per night*.
* Figure correct on 8 December 2015. Calculated based on average nightly rate of UK caravan listings.
Why would a caravan owner use Airbnb?
Airbnb enables accommodation owners, or ‘hosts’ to advertise and rent out their accommodation on a nightly, weekly, or monthly basis. Airbnb lists a whole range of accommodation types, from rooms to houseboats – and even caravans.
With the low cost of airfares, caravan holidays have fallen in popularity since their heyday in the 1950s. However, music festivals, celebrity ‘glampers’ and ‘glamping’ (glamorous camping), have brought camping back into favour among young people. However, few young people own property let alone the space to store a caravan.
At the same time, Airbnb is popular with young people. Airbnb accommodation offers a unique and often cheaper experience than a standard hotel stay. A number of caravanners are already advertising their caravans on Airbnb, attracting rave reviews and making additional income.
What are the benefits of Airbnb over renting privately?
Beyond the carefully designed user experience, summarised in the ‘at a glance’ section below, Airbnb offers a transaction far more secure than a casual peer-to-peer rental arrangement. A private arrangement to rent accommodation without a legal contract offers no protection if your property is damaged, or if your guest refuses to pay.
Airbnb, on the other hand, operates and is dependent on a system of trust. Users (both accommodation owners and guests) rate their experience at the end of each stay. These reviews are visible to prospective guests, so consistently poor ratings mean less business – and may ultimately result in removal from the website! Hosts are also protected by Airbnb’s host insurance policy which covers up to £600,000 in damages.