YHA, or Youth Hostels Association, is complaining that "Australia's $4.4 billion backpacker industry is at risk from the explosion of "illegal" accommodation on Airbnb, as the 'sharing economy' flouts fire safety and overcrowding rules, the sector's pioneer has complained. YHA Australia and the Backpacker Operators Association of NSW say it is unfair that hostels complying with strict fire regulations, tightened after the Childers tragedy that killed 15 people, are being squeezed by commercial operators using Airbnb to let apartments. YHA chief executive Julian Ledger has called for prosecutions and a crackdown."
Ironically for my trip in Europe, traveling for 5 weeks, I rented one stay via AirBnb and another with VRBO. One night in a B&B, two one-night stays in a hotel. The rest of my nights are in guess what? Hostels!
Why? Well, I'm traveling with my son and was looking for a 1 bedroom with something to sleep on in the living area in an entire apartment. There were many options I might have considered, if a picture of what the 2nd sleeping accommodation looked like and where it was had been provided. The other problem was the taxes and service fee, besides the higher rate for a popular area, just pushed the rates too high for what was offered, and many required what I considered a ridiculously high security deposit.
It's also ironic that I'm a vacation host with 20+ 5 star reviews for a 4 bedroom house and I'm spending most of my time sleeping in Europe in a hostel.