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  • Unplanned Expansions: Renting Private Homes to Tourists

    Clare Inkson

    Chapter from the book: Smith A. & Graham A. 2019. Destination London: The Expansion of the Visitor Economy.


    In contemporary London, various factors are responsible for tourism’s spatial expansion, but the rise of peer to peer accommodation and the sharing economy seem pivotal. This chapter presents analysis of the supply of tourist accommodation via the collaborative economy in London. It discusses regulatory changes that have stimulated an increase in sharing-economy accommodation supply in the city, and compares the responses by local authorities in London. The dominant intermediaries that provide platforms for homeowners to access the market are identified, and the spatial distribution of sharing economy accommodation supply throughout London is analysed. Evidence shows that while centrally-located boroughs dominate the London collaborative economy accommodation offer, many peripheral boroughs which aren’t typically associated with tourism also provide significant capacity, creating potential for extension of the destination offer. Digital sharing economy platforms such as AirBnb are a relatively new phenomenon that have taken many destinations worldwide by surprise. It has created opportunities for new tourism service suppliers while at the same time causing controversy and concern amongst residents and local authorities in London and elsewhere. This ‘unplanned expansion’ of accommodation provision has lead to problems caused by the failure of regulators to keep up with the new integration of the residential housing and tourist accommodation sectors.

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    How to cite this chapter
    Inkson, C. 2019. Unplanned Expansions: Renting Private Homes to Tourists. In: Smith A. & Graham A (eds.), Destination London. London: University of Westminster Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.16997/book35.c

    This chapter distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution + Noncommercial + NoDerivatives 4.0 license. Copyright is retained by the author(s)

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    Published on May 21, 2019