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Airbnb

Airbnb

Airbnb provides a convenient platform for tourists to find accommodation. Due to the nature of its product/service, the delivery process is connected to consumption. Thus, it is subjected to various factors that affect the impact of consumer experience. In recent times, Airbnb has been in the spotlight for negative reasons. Some of the issues that local communities in Barcelona, Dubrovnik, Rome, Venice, and Lisbon have raised include illegal rentals, discrimination based on race, and data manipulation (Edelman et al., 2016). These issues are commensurate with the increasing number of tourists and hosts. Due to the potential of Airbnb as an accommodation platform, it is necessary that consumers receive ethical treatment.

How can Airbnb ensure the ethical treatment of consumers?

One of the main strategies that Airbnb can utilize to ensure that customers receive ethical treatment is being transparent and accountable. Using hosts from different locations presents various complications. The main idea is to encourage homeowners to make money off the extra space within their property. However, it is almost impossible to ascertain whether these hosts are compliant with the governing laws and regulations, especially those that guide housing in different regions. Airbnb’s inability to assure clients of such compliance, which promotes positive experiences, places at risk the platform’s reputation. Issues related to discrimination of tourists by hosts fall within Airbnb’s resolution mandate (Hynes, 2016). The booking system requires that the hosts approve accommodation requests, leaving room for discrimination. Differently, abled individuals and African Americans who use Airbnb are more likely to have their booking requests rejected in comparison to the White population’s bookings (Edelman et al., 2016). To eliminate this aspect, Airbnb should delist hosts who are accused of discrimination due to their failure to comply with the Community Commitment agreement, which they sign prior to listing. Such action will promote equal treatment of guests and rebuild trust, which is critical for such a business.

Should there be a separate strategy for the international component of their business model?

Airbnb should have a separate strategy for the international component of the business model. Different markets have varying cultures, behaviors, and hospitality practices. Issues related to cleanliness should be guided by universal standards. However, issues such as discrimination and the hospitality experience are shaped by the cultures of different locations. For instance, Airbnb in European countries is likely to present with issues of bias, conscious or unconscious. Such locations require Airbnb to formulate policies that correspond with the laws and regulations that prohibit such bias (Edelman et al., 2016). Requiring hosts to comply with these regulations is ideal when guests require services in such a location. However, Airbnb in African nations is less likely to experience issues of discrimination against African Americans or otherwise. The main cases of discrimination in the hospitality industry affect African Americans and other minority groups, while Whites are the perpetrators (Glusac , 2018). The issues that may be unsettling for guests using Airbnb in African nations may be different from the other continents. Therefore, creating a different strategy to match various international markets enables Airbnb to enable guests to maximize aspects that positively influence their stay. It also facilitates the ability to satisfy guests’ needs uniquely through the hosts.

Airbnb is a critical platform in the hospitality industry because it serves guests who need accommodation. The company’s recent issues related to discrimination and other unethical practices towards consumers risk affecting the business negatively. To promote ethical treatment of consumers, the company should be accountable and transparent about the hosts’ compliance with local laws. They should also punish any reports of discrimination. In addition, the company should ensure that it creates a different strategy for each geographic location due to the differences in challenges and opportunities.

References

Edelman, B., Luca, M., & Svirsky, D. (2016). Racial Discrimination in the Sharing Economy: Evidence from a Field Experiment. American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, 1-36. Retrieved from https://www.benedelman.org/publications/airbnb-guest-discrimination-2016-09-16.pdf

Glusac, E. (2018). Hotels Grapple With Racial Bias. The New York Times.

Hynes, C. (2016). The Airbnb bias row shows prejudice matters – and not just to its victims. The Guardian.

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Question 


Airbnb

In the accommodations market, Airbnb appears to have a significant advantage over its competitors as it relates to regulations affecting the operations of its business.

Airbnb

Airbnb

Develop a business strategy that will allow Airbnb to meet local, state, and international regulatory requirements and motivate individuals to benefit from participating in this space of the accommodations market. Address the following questions:

  • How can Airbnb ensure the ethical treatment of consumers?
  • Should there be a separate strategy for the international component of their business model?

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