A new concept of tourism

Emanuele Dal Carlo, founder of Fairbnb

Photo: Emanuele Dal Carlo

According to the World Tourism Organisation, international travel is expected to reach two billion by 2030 and three billion in 2050. To date there are no less than 98 destinations (in 63 countries) where problems related to holiday rentals have been reported.

It is a problem for which a new word has been coined: in 2016, to identify the phenomenon, a journalist from the tourism magazine Skift first used the term overtourism: a mismanagement of numbers, which often results in an unresolvable conflict between tourists and residents.

Lack of accommodation

In Spain there have been protests in many areas including Mallorca, Barcelona, Malaga and the Canary Islands among others, with local people angry in particular about the lack of rental accommodation at a reasonable price.

Fairbnb offers a solution which gives both travellers and locals the opportunity to participate in a more responsible and sustainable tourism model by supporting social and ecological projects for the local communities.

Ethical tourism

Fairbnb.coop is an alternative platform that is well established in Italy where the idea started, brainchild of Italian entrepreneur, Emanuele Dal Carlo, it is trying to create a model for “ethical tourism” that doesn’t price residents out of their area.

Venice, for example, has been in the news lately with the imposition of a tourist tax in an attempt to limit numbers. Fairbnb says that holiday apartment owners must already live in the city themselves, and that a host can only list one second home on their platform. A host on its platforms could in fact own 20 properties in Venice, but only one can be let to tourists, while the others must go on to the regular rental market (source: The Times Property newsletter).

Fairbnb redirects 50 per cent of its net commission to community projects. This way, your travels contribute directly to the sustainability and well-being of the communities you visit. Could this be a more sustainable model for holiday rentals in over-saturated areas like the Costa del Sol?

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Written by

Kevin Fraser Park

Kevin was born in Scotland and worked in marketing, running his own businesses in UK, Italy and, for the last 8 years, here in Spain. He moved to the Costa del Sol in 2016 working initially in real estate. He has a passion for literature and particularly the English language which is how he got into writing.