Airbnb is very popular, but not really in Japan, just like everything else such as Uber.
The rise of the sharing economy is the reason behind the population of Airbnb. From supplier’s point of you, when you are not using your assets, why not share them and make profits out of them. From user’s point of view, you don’t need to own assets but just pay for the usage when you need to use them. So it’s win-win deal.
Jay wrote about why Airbnb is not popular in Japan (but in Japanese.) So he has his own thoughts of it. But today I would like to write about how I feel as a user about Airbnb.
I have never used it myself yet. You can use it in Japan. There are people offering their rooms, houses through Airbnb in Japan too. Although they are not necessarily all legal. But the service does exist. And you can find many comments about the service, so that means there are people using the service.
But would I choose to share someone’s house or room over official accommodation like hotels? Probably not at this moment. I’m not sure if I feel comfortable enough to stay at a stranger’s place where s/he might have a key to access. Can you trust the person?
It’s not just me, and there are people with such concerns about Airbnb. But the service is based on trust and evaluation that people make. Suppliers cannot do strange things because it will hurt their reputations and users can make choices based on other users’ evaluation.
But I’m still not convinced enough. At this point, I will reserve a room through Hotels.com even if it means it’s a bit more expensive. One of the benefits, and the most important one, of using Airbnb is that it’s cheaper than reserving through official travel sites. But I’d rather buy sense of security with extra money. The other important benefit is that you can get a unique experience rather than staying at a hotel room where everything looks the same and boring. I guess that’s understandable, but I’d prefer sense of security over uniqueness.
I’m going to have my very first Airbnb experience this weekend. Jay and I are going to the beach with a group of friends and the person who was in charge of picking a place to stay chose to book a house through Airbnb. We are a group of 6 so we should be safe, I guess. 😛
I might change how I think about Airbnb once I start to have good experiences. We’ll see tomorrow! 😎