Sharing is caring?

For the environment?


The Airbnb has proved to be the more environmental sustainable alternative because of its mutual cooperation between guests and hosts (Barnes and Mattsson, 2016). Cleantech Group (2014) conducted a survey with Airbnb hosts and guests and draw the following conclusions:

1. Airbnb guests in North America use between 63% and 71% less energy than hotel guests in North America, thus generating 61–82% less CO2 emissions. Airbnb guests in Europe use 78% to 84% less energy than hotel guests, thus generating at least 88% less CO2 emissions.

2. Airbnb guests in North America use between 12% and 39% (59–170 litres) less water than hotel guests. Airbnb guests in Europe use between 48 and 57% (160–290 litres) less water than hotel guests.

3. Fewer than 2% of Airbnb hosts report washing bed sheets and towels daily.

4. Most Airbnb hosts (95% in North America and 89% in Europe) report that they are providing recycling facilities; 94% of Airbnb guests in North America and 90% of Airbnb guests in Europe say they recycle when they can.

5. Most Airbnb hosts (83% in North America and 79% in Europe) report that they provide energy efficient appliances.

The service level at peer – to – peer accommodation sharing is more energy efficient. For example, bed linen towels are not replaced everyday and only replaced after each arrival. Airbnb’s cleaning routine as well as less supply of amenities offered to guests leads to less energy, water usage, and chemicals. Common spaces such as gardens receptions areas and pool areas occupied by Airbnb hosts are smaller in size implying a sustainably reduce environmental footprint in comparison with commercial accommodation providers. Hosts can request guests to comply with their House rules which normally includes energy and water saving requirements.

Airbnb extensively advocates for the sustainable tourism and a “greener” habitat. The company has cooperated with NGOs for its commitment to sustainable urban development. In 2016, Airbnb partnered with UN Environment Programme to share sustainable tourism tips in the Airbnb community and to promote UNEP's “Green Passport" campaign during the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games.

The existence of Airbnb also helps fill infrastructure gap and saved cities from overbuilding accommodations. Cities tends to construct hotels for specific events (Lopes et al., 2014). Those additional buildings created burden on the environment and might stay empty after the events (Cho, 2004). According to Airbnb, 500,000 visitors had been accommodated by 48,000 listings in the platform. It saved Rio from building an addition of 257 hotels to accommodate this number of visitors during the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. Airbnb has partnered with host cities and events to accommodate the infrastructure gaps.

Airbnb Homes community in Vietnam is relatively small but growing quickly. The term “Airbnb” has increased its interest over the internet. In comparison to worldwide trend, Vietnamese residents express growing interest over this accommodation sharing platform.

Graph 1: Interest over Airbnb Vietnam and Worldwide since 2008 (Google Trend, 2018)

Since 2010, the community grows 181 percent a year with the median income of Vietnamese host in the past year about $1000 and total host earning as $16.3 million (Airbnb, 2017). Hosts from Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh city earn relatively $800 and $1300 per year. The size of market has grown significantly since 2010 (Graph 2). In 2018, the number of rentals in major tourist destinations including in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh, Da Nang, and Khanh Hoa has doubled since last year. The Airbnb concept is considered a perfect fit for Vietnamese culture. With strong entrepreneurial spirit, Arbnb is regarded as quasi-startups. Airbnb hosting is becoming popular part time profession among the Vietnamese (David, 2016).

Graph 2: Rapid rental growth in major cities of Vietnam (AirDNA, 2018)

Entire rooms and private rooms comprise the major percentages in total listing. Among those listing, Ho Chi Minh and Khanh Hoa residents have their entire house for short term rental: 57% in Ho Chi Minh, 44% in Hanoi, 46% in Da Nang, and 66% in Khanh Hoa. Meanwhile, Hanoi and Dang prefer to rent out their private rooms: 39% in Ho Chi Minh, 52% in Hanoi, 49% in Da Nang, and 32% in Khanh Hoa (Graph 3). Those entire houses might have derived from the long term rentals. The shared room might be the one that represent the true “sharing” original concept of Airbnb.

Given the rapid growth of the sharing economics of Vietnamese market, can we say Vietnam's tourism is getting more sustainable to adhere the global sustainability trend? We shall see Airbnb's role in the Formula 1 in Vietnam this 2020.


Barnes, S.J.; Mattsson, J. Understanding current and future issues in collaborative consumption: A four-stage Delphi study. Technol. Forecast. Soc. Chang. 2016, 104, 200–211.

Cleantech Group (2014) Environmental impact of home sharing: Phase 1 report. A report prepared for Airbnb.

Cho, M. (2004) Assessing accommodation readiness for the 2002 World Cup: The role of Korean-style Inns, Event Management, 8 (3), 177–184.

Lopes, L.A., de Oliveira, M.M., and Soares, C.A. (2014) The effects of the 2014 World Cup in real estate market in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, International Proceedings of Economics Development and Research, 69, 12.

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