It wasn’t exactly a tale of rags to riches, but Bingie-resident Rudi Langeveld’s talk about Airbnb at Tuesday’s meeting of Moruya Probus Club came very close.
He said that in the autumn of 2007 two men were asked if they could provide accommodation at their home in San Francisco. There was a big conference in the town and all the usual accommodation was sold out. In order to help pay the rent they offered an air bed and breakfast and received their first guests.
Early in 2008 they launched Airbed & Breakfast and received two bookings. Later that year, at a time of another convention in San Francisco, they had eighty. The following year they changed the name to Airbnb. By the end of last year, Rudi said, Airbnb had five-million host and guest listings in 191 countries with an average of two-million people staying on Airbnb each night.
He explained that Airbnb owned no properties but was an on-line booking platform. A client, guest or host, had to register online with the system to become verified. He explained that Airbnb connected guests’ specific requirements to hosts that could match them.
The system, with headquarters in Dublin, charged hosts three-percent of the price of the accommodation and the guest 13-percent. Those two men with a spare airbag in 2007 were now billionaires, he said.
“The range of accommodation available is staggering,” he went on, “from a tent or a caravan, to a castle or monastery.” Costs were usually between $100 and $120 a night. He said he and wife Barbara hosted Airbnb guests at their home and had used it extensively in Australia and overseas.
“We can highly recommend the experience.”
Earlier in the meeting, held at Moruya Golf Club, members heard a five-minute talk from former vice-president Netta Behringer. “It’s a story of disappointment,” she said going on to tell of her experiences when she set off with other members on a tour to Mudgee last year. Early on the tour she became ill and had to be taken to hospital. As a result she had decided to resign from the committee.
Carolyn Winters told a few jokes that were well received by her audience…but probably wouldn’t have been by any marriage counsellor.
Treasurer Bruce Imrie gave a treasurer’s report, saying:”we’re travelling alright”.
Then President Max looked forward to the annual meeting next month. Several important positions were still uncontested, he said, urging members to return nomination forms soon. He added, though, that other local Probus Clubs were having the same problem.
Moruya Probus meets at Moruya Golf Club at ten-o’clock on the fourth Tuesday of each month.
There are many advantages with being a member of Probus. Apart from meeting new friends, and sometimes some old ones, there are opportunities of being involved in outings. There are discounts for some members with restaurants and hotels and more reasonable travel insurance rates that seniors may otherwise be offered. Anyone considering membership should call president Max Hogno on 4474 2324.