The sharing of private homes in Prague via Airbnb and other accommodation platforms has become a regular business, suggests a new study conducted by the consultancy Deloitte, published in the daily Hospodářské noviny this week.
According to the study, only around 20 percent of flats rented via shared accommodation platforms involve a paying visitor actually staying with the owner. The remaining 80 percent are entire flats rented strictly for business.
What is more, some two thirds of shared accommodation providers in the city own more than one flat and roughly 50 percent of such flats are available for more than 180 days a year.
The main reason behind this trend is the growing popularity of Prague as a tourist destination. Between 2016 and 2018, the number of visitors to the Czech capital increased by 840,000 to over nine million.
At the same time, accommodation capacities in the city’s hotels and hostels only increased by around 1.4 percent. The gap was quickly filled by shared accommodation platforms, namely Airbnb, which increased its capacity by 34 percent.
While in 2016, there were approximately 10,300 apartments rented via Airbnb, in 2018 it was over 13,800. The study estimates that the number of new apartments rented via Airbnb could increase by another 4,500 by 2025, in case the city’s hotels don’t significantly increase their capacities.
In terms of prices, a night in Prague in a four-star hotel in the middle of November currently costs from 5,060 to 14,000 crowns, Airbnb accommodation can be purchased from 3,350 to 8,950 crowns, according to the Deloitte study.
At the moment, every fourth apartment in Prague’s historical district of Staré město is rented via Airbnb or some other shared accommodation platform, which leads to the depopulation of the city centre.
Given the current trend, shared accommodation services are likely to push out citizens also from the wider centre of Prague in the near future, concludes the study by Deloitte.