31. October 2013–
German short-term holiday rental platforms 9flats and Wimdu and Switzerland-based HouseTrip have formed a network to lobby for their rights. In a media release, the network claims that as private rentals become a significant part of the tourism industry it's important for the three companies to unite and communicate with one voice.
Interestingly, US-based Airbnb has not joined the collective – potentially a deliberate effort by Wimdu, 9Flats and HouseTrip to band together and compete against their strongest rival.
The new network aims to bring more innovation into the market. It also wants to "support tenants and landlords with legal matters and participate in creating regulations and developing solutions to current issues" – clearly a dig at the discussion currently taking place in a number of cities, including Berlin, on whether using residential apartments for commercial purposes should be banned.
The companies used the announcement to highlight the benefits of staying with local hosts, including increased cultural exchange, a more authentic travel experience and more tourism in less central regions of cities.
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