Economics/Class Relations

Airbnbye bye

November 4, 2023 • 5 min read
with Jordan Parker Erb
Howdy, readers. If you’ve used Airbnb in the last decade, chances are you’ve had at least one less-than-pleasant experience. Hopefully, yours wasn’t as bad as this customer who said a host dumped all their belongings on the street after mixing up their checkout date.

For travelers visiting New York City, those experiences will likely become less common. New regulations resulted in a “de facto ban” of Airbnbs in the city. But they may be better off. More on that in today’s big story.

What’s on deck
But first, will we miss Airbnb when it’s gone?


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The big story
NYC’s ‘de facto’ ban


The first Airbnb I ever stayed in has become something of a legend in my family. 


It was in the early days of Airbnb when most listings were people’s primary homes instead of cookie-cutter rental units. Our stay included crumbs in the utensil drawer, beard clippings in the sink, and a wayward cat that ended up in my bed each night.


As the platform matured, more people sought homes without on-site hosts, where they could rent the entire place.


But as of September 5, that’s no longer an option in New York City. The city banned entire-home rentals, capped reservations at two guests, and required the host to be in the home with renters. Those new rules could push people away.

“Nobody wants a host in there,” Makarand Mody, an associate professor of hospitality marketing at Boston University, told me for this story. “Very few [people] are looking for sharing, and I think having a host present is almost uncomfortable now, even though that’s how Airbnb started.”

Getty Images
The regulations have chilled the short-term rental landscape in New York City.


As Insider previously reported, the number of Airbnbs in the city decreased by 77% after the rules went into effect.


But after years of guests’ complaints — weird hosts, too many rules, exorbitant fees — I wasn’t entirely sympathetic to Airbnb’s plight.


Travelers may be better off staying in hotels. After all, they tend to offer a sense of security that Airbnbs simply don’t, Mody told me.


But most people I spoke to said the downfall of short-term rentals could make staying in New York City more expensive. Recent data from Trivago shared with Insider showed the cost of a hotel in New York City increased to $502, a 1.92% bump from September to October.


(To be sure, one analyst pointed out it’s hard to determine if that’s specifically due to the regulations, a product of inflation, or something else entirely.)


“As we enter the holiday season, these trends are expected to continue, making New York City less affordable for families visiting for the holidays,” a spokesperson for Airbnb told Insider.


So travelers may rest easier in hotels, where they won’t have to do pesky checkout chores, live with a stranger, or sleep with a cat, but they can also expect to pay more for the experience.

3 things in
Jordan Erb/Insider
1. Visiting Montana anytime soon? Of course you are! It only makes sense, as the state was named one of the best places to travel to in 2024. I grew up there, so I’ve got a few must-see spots every visitor should check out.


2. Insider’s reporter rode the newest high-speed train in the US. The Brightline train, which runs along Florida’s east coast, hits 125 mph. Our reporter took the train from Orlando to Miami — take a look inside.


3. In other Airbnb news… A group of women who stayed in a Michigan rental are suing the platform, saying a swarm of bats attacked them in bed. The lawsuit, viewed by Insider, says one of the women was even bitten, while another had a bat “entangled” in her hair.

3 things in
Gary Hershorn/Getty Images
1. Things are going well for New York City’s Rat Czar. City officials have found a new, effective way to eliminate the pests. Farewell, dear friends. You will be missed.


2. Women are experiencing burnout at a higher rate than men. This new finding, part of a recent Gallup survey, can help explain why some women are searching for “lazy girl jobs” — or careers emphasizing stability and work-life balance.


3. Meet a software engineer with a Costco side hustle. After seeing how much people loved Costco, the 33-year-old started making TikToks about the big-box store. He has since raked in thousands of dollars as a grocery-store influencer.

3 things in
Eric Michiels
1. A man who moved to Denver regretted it. The 51-year-old, his wife, and their two kids moved from Atlanta to Colorado, but were disappointed by the weather and how hard it was to make friends. They’ve since moved to Spain and are more content in the relaxed country.


2. A British tourist ranked the best — and worst — food he ate in America. After visiting the 48 contiguous states, the Brit found 10 dishes to die for and three meals that left him less than satisfied.


3. This 26-year-old dates older men because they have more in common. Day Villafane is dating a man 17 years her senior. She says their lifestyles align better than with men her age. She’d rather spend time watching movies or building Legos than going to bars or clubs.


In other news


Courtesy of Louisa Rogers
For your bookmarks
How to get to 100
Lessons on wellness from a centenarian. The author’s father, who lived to be 101 years old, passed on a few tips for living a long and healthy life.

News Quiz
Answers for the quiz from Friday’s edition
  • From Monday: This billionaire sports owner shared thoughts on crypto, an NFT comeback, and taxes. Answer: Mark Cuban
  • From Tuesday: The checkout survey at this retail giant has confused and annoyed customers and workers. Answer: Walmart
  • From Wednesday: This billionaire investor isn’t a fan of venture capital. Answer: Charlie Munger
  • From Thursday: What did the Fed decide to do with interest rates? Answer: Pause
  • From Friday: This prestigious investment bank recently announced its newest crop of managing directors. Answer: Goldman Sachs
Let me know how you did at

The Insider Today Saturday team

Jordan Parker Erb, reporter, in New York City. Diamond Naga Siu, senior reporter, in San Diego. Dan DeFrancesco, senior editor, in New York City. Hallam Bullock, editor, in London. Lisa Ryan, executive editor, in New York City.

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