In London’s first fifteen years, a bunch of restaurants, pubs, hotels, and nightclubs built a lifeline that provided a convenient platform for tourists to stay in a city without booking expensive hotel rooms. In the decade after that, Airbnb has quickly upended the same industry.
Expensive hotels have, predictably, protested that Airbnb is destroying their livelihoods by pulling tourists away from them, and now regulators are looking to stop them. Last year, the British government said it would ban homeowners from listing rooms as “guest accommodation” on the platform. More than a thousand rental homes have already been taken off the market.
Yet what does the data tell us about exactly how Airbnb is altering London’s way of life? More than in any other major city, London is turning into a living Airbnb museum. In the past two years, we looked at Airbnb listings in real estate and the arts, health services, fast food and nightlife, and full-time housing, along with a breakdown of individual neighborhood-based data, including location, number of days stayed, and the average ticket price.
When we released our data in October, we mapped the areas affected by laws and regulations in the city. The darker the color, the greater the effect of Airbnb in those neighborhoods.
Another way of looking at London’s impact on local markets, or any city, is to visualize it, and we did just that with a couple of maps that shows how Airbnb projects the influence of a neighborhood in London.