London’s Uber ban could spell bad news for AirBnB
Last month it was announced that controversial carpool site Uber would be banned from operating in London
Last month it was announced that controversial carpool site Uber would be banned from operating in London. Transport For London refused to renew the ride sharing site's operating license, saying that "Uber's approach and conduct demonstrate a lack of corporate responsibility in relation to a number of issues which have potential public safety and security implications," and that the ban would come into place on September 30th. However, as predicted Uber immediately moved to appeal the ban under the court's 21 day appeal procedure, and it will continue to operate while the appeal is being processed. This was a major blow for the taxi-alternative, who have faced controversy worldwide for their business model, staff treatment and ruthless behaviour, sparking protest in cities all over the world from London to Buenos Aires. The ban prompted the abrupt resignation of the Uber's UK and Ireland director Jo Bertram at the beginning of October, just ten days after the ban was announced.
What implications will the Uber ban in London have on sites likeAirBnB? AirBnB has already made moves to placate British regulators in London, with the site limiting rentals to a maximum of 90 days unless they have been granted permission from the city council. Since they have started to enforce the ban, 90 day-plus bookings have drastically decreased. However, unlike cities like Barcelona, which is suffering from an over-saturated tourism market that is angering locals and forcing a crackdown on AirBnB's rental properties, London has seen a 6% increase in tourism in the past year, and with tourism contributing £127 billion annually to the British economy, crackdowns like the one inBarcelona are less likely to happen in the English capital. Increasingly it seems like councils and business owners alike will have no choice but to embrace the sharing economy instead of trying to fight it.
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