Airbnb’s “City Portal”

Airbnb is one of the many actors who contribute to shaping new urban tourism in cities worldwide. A couple of days ago the company introduced a new data tool to help municipalities and tourism organizers to better control Airbnb short-term rentals in their cities. According to Airbnb, the so-called “City Portal” helps to keep track of tax revenues from short-term rentals, creates transparency in rental policies and regulations and should also provide more security for hosts and guests.
The portal has been launched with more than 15 pilot cities, including Palm Springs and San Francisco.

Airbnb’s “City Portal” has to be seen as a long-waited response to the demand for regulation, which is repeatedly raised not only in the media but also in the academic world. Whether and how effectively the company can counteract this demand through such its new portal remains open.

However, political regulation is one of several issues for the company. In her recent New York Times article, Elaine Glusac identified overtourism, racial discrimination, and party tourism as central challenges determining the “Future of Airbnb”.

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