Platform co-op Fairbnb, launched as an ethical alternative to holiday rental firm Airbnb, has launched in the UK.
The co-operatively owned platform was launched in 2018 in response to concerns over the rise of online holiday letting platforms like Airbnb, with campaigners concerned over data transparency regulatory compliance, and potential impact on local property markets and neighbourhoods. So fair It is up and running in Italy, Spain, France, Portugal, and Belgium.
It said the UK launch is “a pivotal moment”, taking the co-op into “one of the larger, more sustainability-conscious economies” with “a long tradition in widespread and locally rooted hospitality”.
Tourism “can be a powerful source of resources for all the stakeholders in the hosting communities”, it adds, but the growth in the short-term rental market in the UK has seen “many people renting out their homes on global, extractive platforms”, sparking “concerns about its direct and indirect impact on the local communities”.
The market “has quickly become a playground for high profit companies and hoarding landlords focused on maximising their investments (often at the expenses of entire neighbourhoods and of small hosts rooted in their community),” it warns.
“That’s why Fairbnb.coop, as a co-operative platform with its international team of members, workers and activists, is working hard to bring its unique regenerative model to the UK.”
Fairbnb says it is “focused on creating a community of hosts and guests who care about making a positive impact on the world. This way, we allow travellers who book a stay to direct half of the net platform standard commissions to social projects or charities in the community.
“The platform also encourages hosts to adopt sustainable practices, such as using eco-friendly cleaning products, providing guests with information about local public transportation options and by providing information about local shops and trades.
“By staying with a Fairbnb.coop host, guests can add values to their stays knowing that they are supporting a host who cares about making a positive impact on the world, starting with its own neighbourhood.”
In another announcement, Fairbnb said it has struck a partnership with the Big Issue Foundation, which allows guests to donate half of the platform commission to the charity in areas where a local project has not been identified yet.
The co-op is now inviting UK residents to join the platform as independent hosts, and is looking for local ambassadors to help spread the word about its work.
It is also looking for UK-based organisations to partner with it on local projects and initiatives. For more information email [email protected]