Over 25 paragraphs into a long New York Times story on Barcelona’s efforts to severely curtail Airbnb rentals (efforts the article describes as “one of the few effective tools that [Barcelona] can deploy to rein in excessive tourism and address the city’s housing problems”), we finally hear from Airbnb’s competition, the hotel industry:
Manel Casals, the general manager of Barcelona’s hotel association, welcomed the ban, saying that Airbnb is “a concern for cities everywhere” because it deprives local governments of taxes, disrupts residential areas, and fails to ensure adequate health and safety standards for guests. “It will help Barcelona to prohibit this,” he said, adding that the city’s hotels don’t consider Airbnb a competitor as they serve a different customer base.
They’re happy to make the competition illegal, but of course, they don’t compete!
I’m known as a market urbanist, pro-innovation kind of person who’d be disincl…