The sharing economy and its role in metropolitan tourism
The 'sharing economy' has been evolving rapidly in recent years, with Airbnb becoming one of the largest actors within this business segment. This chapter focuses on Airbnb as a new stakeholder in the hospitality industry and its implications on urban transformation processes in Berlin. It illuminates the motives of participants in online sharing platforms as well as the experiences of both the demand and supply side made by using Airbnb. The online platform offers the possibility for ordinary people to rent out their homes as accommodation for visitors. As a result, this new option to leave the tourist bubble and to stay at a private person's place opens up spaces for tourists that were previously mainly used by the local population. From the perspective of Berlin's hotel industry, measures against the competitor Airbnb could be interpreted as an expression of structural problems within the hospitality industry.