The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop
I recently decided to list an apartment that is part of the main house at Oak Knoll Meadows Farm Inc. on Airbnb. I hoped to meet new people and earn some extra money to pay my utilities on the farm. It has been a wonderful experience! People have visited from as far away as Australia; they have enjoyed looking at the horses, particularly the new foals, and they have enjoyed the fresh air and open spaces at Oak Knoll Meadows. Airbnb has pioneered this wonderful opportunity and made meeting visitors, which are otherwise rare, on a farm in Versailles, Kentucky, possible and enjoyable. It has also offered a wide variety of housing experiences to anyone and everyone. Rather than be limited to impersonal hotels and motels, that offer little interaction with one's hosts, and no personal information about their location, Airbnb has brought people together to have an actual and often meaningful experience. Moreover, many people enjoy traveling with their dogs which is often difficult and even impossible in most hotels and motels. As a dog lover myself, I enjoy meeting my guest's pets and have learned allot about various breeds. And of course there is the financial benefit to both parties. An apartment complete with bedroom, kitchen and bath is sometimes offered in suites at more expensive hotels but the cost is often prohibitive to most travelers. I offer the apartment at Oak Knoll Meadows for the cost of a normal room. The traveler benefits and I benefit because my apartment is generating enough money to pay utilities and other farm expenses. It is a win/win for everyone involved. The government should be encouraging this type of enterprise as it benefits everyone that participates.