Founded in 2008 in San Francisco, California, Airbnb is a relatively young company. But in a few short years, Airbnb has grown from a small startup to a large rental giant. And in the past few years, cities like Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin, Paris, Vienna and many others have seen the effects of overtourism influenced by the company and other travel trends.
Recently Amsterdam’s city council released a letter in a bid to get the attention of Europe’s top court to change Airbnb to a “digital service provider” and not an “accommodation provider.”
The court agreed with the Amsterdam officials.
As it can be more financially profitable to turn apartments and homes in cities into Airbnb’s to temporarily host travelers than to lease to the average city dweller, where affordable housing is increasingly becoming an issue. Part of the issue also stems from rental properties increasing the carrying capacities of cities to the point of unsustainability.
Efforts such as Amsterdam’s have followed suit to other cities asking for more transparency from Airbnb so they can better enforce local laws and regulations on the rentals and prevent overtourism and promote sustainable travel.