The impacts of Airbnb in Athens, Lisbon and Milan: a rent gap theory perspective

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The 2007–2008 Global Financial Crisis profoundly impacted the housing markets, particularly of the so-called PIGS countries. Main cities in Portugal, Italy and Greece have seen a sharp decrease in house prices and rent value since 2010. At the same time, the rise of Airbnb has contributed to the reframing of housing market demand in cities, with an increase of temporary lettings in prime urban tourist areas. Understandably, this has direct implications for local residents, with renters’ displacement, tourism gentrification and raising cases of tourismphobia. This article provides insights from three cities – Athens, Lisbon and Milan – to show how the dynamics in the housing market and the boost of Airbnb over the last decade are steadily changing the urban populations of the aforementioned cities. This research builds upon the rent gap theory and the Luke’s’ Power Theory to illustrate how Airbnb is fostering a new form of urban displacement at a faster rate than traditional housing gentrification, with the renting of prime residential areas to tourists.




Amore, A., de Bernardi, C., & Arvanitis, P. (2022). The impacts of Airbnb in Athens, Lisbon and Milan: a rent gap theory perspective. Current Issues in Tourism, 25(20), 3329–3342.

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