Airbnb was formerly referred to as “Air bed and breakfast” and was created in 2008 as a cheaper means of accommodation to the average customer of the hotel industry. It’s an online platform that connects individuals who want to rent out their homes to people who are looking for accommodations in that locale. It currently covers more than 100,000 cities and 220 countries worldwide and justifiably become one of the most successful online businesses in the world today.
Airbnb has become a disruptor in the real estate market, the platform boasts a cheap and easy way to earn a substantial amount of revenue from your home. However, this comes alongside a considerable amount of risk e.g. damage to the property. The convenience in both availability and cost comes into play for guests, but there is also a chance that what was depicted on the listing online is not really the case in reality.
Upscale neighbourhoods in Nairobi experience the same effect as major cities. High rent prices push owners to find creative ways of paying their rent or mortgage. The occupancy rate is often driven by convenience, security, amenities, prestige and aesthetics. According to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics Economic Survey of 2017, the hotel occupancy rate in the country stood at 30 per cent in 2016. This is 8% lower than Airbnb and the margin widens if we only consider upscale neighbourhoods.