Sunday 25 February 2018

One in five of us now using peer-to-peer accommodation services

Websites and apps that facilitate peer-to-peer accommodation services include Airbnb. Photo: Getty Images
Websites and apps that facilitate peer-to-peer accommodation services include Airbnb. Photo: Getty Images
Ellie Donnelly

Ellie Donnelly

Irish people are third in Europe for arranging accommodation via websites and apps from private individuals.

Most people are using dedicated websites or apps, but other websites - including social network sites - have also facilitated the renting of private accommodation, according to data released from Eurostat, the statistical office of the EU.

Websites and apps that facilitate peer-to-peer accommodation services include Airbnb.

In 2017 just over one in five Irish people arranged accommodation from another private individual via a website or an app.

The UK and Luxembourg led the way and overall, online peer-to-peer accommodation services were used by one in six people in the EU. At the bottom end of the scale only 1pc of people in the Czech Republic arranged accommodation via websites and apps from private individuals.

Despite the large numbers of Irish people renting accommodation from private individuals, earlier this week the Irish Hotels Federation (IHF) reported that they had experienced a strong performance in the domestic market this year.

The IHF said it has helped compensate hoteliers in Ireland for the fall in visitors from the UK this year, with three-quarters of hoteliers seeing an increase in business from the domestic market. The news comes as it was revealed last month that hundreds of Dublin homeowners using Airbnb to rent out their properties may face punitive action under a new initiative to clampdown on planning breaches.

Dublin City Council is stepping up its enforcement activity on landlords who do not have the correct planning permission for the short-term lets.

The move has been welcomed by politicians and some campaigners, who say that the online service is contributing to a housing crisis in the capital. Under planning rules, homeowners may not use their residence as a commercial letting property.

In terms of the age profile of those arranging accommodation via websites and apps from private individuals, people between the age of 25-54 were most likely to do so, with just over one in five people in this age bracket in the EU arranging accommodation online from another private individual.

This age group was followed by 16-24-year-olds, 17pc of whom booked accommodation online or via an app from another private individual in 2017.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, least likely to engage in booking accommodation online or via an app from another private individual were people in the 55-74 age bracket.

Activities such as arranging accommodation online from another private individual are classified under the 'collaborative' or 'sharing economy'. This type of economic activity has taken off in the past five years.

According to professional services firm PwC, peer-to-peer transportation is the biggest sector of Europe's sharing economy in terms of revenues, turning over some €1.7bn in 2015, however, peer-to-peer accommodation has taken off in Europe. The sharing economy also includes on-demand household services, collaborative finance, and on-demand professional services.

Irish Independent

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