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#006: Elaine Herbert, Owner and Operator of the Yelton Manor, Discusses How Airbnb Has Ruined Communities Worldwide

Oct 18, 2018

For Episode #6 of the Frictionless Innkeeper podcast series, we speak with Elaine Herbert, Owner and Operator of the Yelton Manor Bed and Breakfast in South Haven, Michigan, about the negative impact of Airbnb on her B&B, community, and tourist destinations around the world.

The impact of Airbnb on both innkeepers and their communities is not always apparent to most people, since much of the media focuses on how larger hoteliers deal with this competitive landscape.

The reality is that Airbnb can negatively affect innkeepers and communities throughout the world. As Elaine highlights in this podcast interview, the home-sharing provider has both challenged her B&B’s ability to thrive and had dire consequences on her community of South Haven, Michigan, where she and her husband have lived for more than 30 years.

The arrival of Airbnb has impacted South Haven in many ways — incentivizing long-term residents to sell their homes to investors, decreasing tax revenues in various forms, creating a tenuous and sometimes threatening local political atmosphere, and causing overcrowding by visitors with a penchant for partying — ultimately resulting in what Elaine describes as a true “battle for the soul of the town.”

In this podcast, Elaine shares her candid insights into how Airbnb’s home-sharing approach has changed the face of South Haven and impacted tourism-based communities around the world. Here are some highlights from our conversation:

  •      The background and creation of the Yelton Manor Bed and Breakfast. (:50)
  •      More about the Yelton Manor property and its extraordinary history of guests’ experiences. (5:52)
  •      Airbnb’s negative impact on the South Haven community and beyond. (9:30)
  •      How Elaine and other communities have fought to combat residential rentals. (20:50)

We would like to thank Elaine for sharing her candid insights about Airbnb.  We look forward to providing a future podcast where she discusses the appeal and her admiration of Millennial guests. You can learn more about the Yelton Manor Bed and Breakfast by visiting their website.