Is it fair that Airbnb owners charge over 100% more during festivals?

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If you’re an Airbnb user, you’ve probably noticed that the prices aren’t exactly static. They usually change depending on the season (summer prices tend to be higher) and the presence of a special event.

With Covid restrictions easing and people starting to travel more, concerts, festivals and events are also making a comeback. And Airbnb prices have increased to meet the higher demand.

In a recent report, mortgage experts from argent.co.uk looked at the events of 2021 with the greatest impact on Airbnb prices. So how much are the prices going up? And is it fair that festival-goers pay more? Diana Bocco takes a look.

What events impacted Airbnb prices in 2021?

According to money.co.uk, the biggest Airbnb price increase of 2021 occurred during the sailing event known as Cowes Week on the Isle of Wight. The average price in the area is usually around £ 91 per night, but during the event the price rose to £ 369 per night.

That’s a massive 305% increase during the week of the event. According to money.co.uk, one of the main reasons for the significant price variation is that accommodation on the island is limited and event attendees can afford a massive increase.

The Open Championship 2021 at Royal St George’s Golf Club in Kent also saw a significant increase in Airbnb prices. The average price just a week before the event was £ 250 per night, but during the week of the event prices jumped to £ 611 per night.

Other 2021 events that saw significant price increases on Airbnb included the TRNSMT festival in Glasgow (105%), the UEFA Euro 2020 final in London (104%), and the Parklife festival in the Greater Manchester (91%).

What about vacations in general?

The money.co.uk report also looked at holidays throughout the year. However, the increase in Airbnb prices at these times is not as large as during events. For example, prices see an average increase of around 8% over the Christmas weekend. Summer holidays at the end of August and Halloween both see an average increase of just 6%.

Are Airbnb rates fair?

Raising prices to meet increased demand is a fundamental economy. Airbnb policies allow dynamic pricing. Basically, this means that web hosts can increase their prices at any time, for any reason, in order to maximize their profits. This can be programmed to change seasonally, but can also be done manually for special events throughout the year.

According to the vacation rental software company iGMS, dynamic pricing allows hosts to earn up to 40% more than if they were to commit to static pricing.

Whether dynamic pricing is fair or not depends on who you ask. Consumers may object to a sudden price increase due to an event. They might also be frustrated with inconsistent pricing and view the practice as abusive. Dynamic pricing does not have a significant effect on wealthy consumers. They will be able to afford even significant price adjustments. However, the “average” consumer might not be able to afford such increases.

How to deal with the increase in Airbnb prices?

If you are attending a popular event, it is likely that the prices of hotels and Airbnb will increase. While there is nothing you can do about it, booking your reservations two to three months in advance will give you more choices. For example, the cheapest hotel rooms and Airbnb rentals will likely come first, so book early for the best deals possible.

You should also look for accommodation just outside the event area. The closer the ads are to the action, the higher the prices. You will definitely pay for the convenience.

Finally, if you have a travel credit card, check to see if you have any discounts or rewards. Even a small discount can pay off when the prices are that high.

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