Airbnb Buenos Aires

The local presence became official this week, but 4,000 Argentina property owners are already onboard.

Online rental platform Airbnb is quickly emerging as a preferred dotcom destination for short-term rental owners and seekers amassing over 4,000 properties throughout Argentina.

Infotechnology’s Felix Ramallo says the San Francisco-based company officially announced its online presence in Argentina this week; however, there are no plans for a physical presence on suelo argentino…the strategy of choice for another SF stalwart.

Ramallo interviews the company’s regional director for Latin America who explains the Argentine market: “We currently have 4,000 published properties in Argentina with Buenos Aires, Cordoba and Mendoza being the top destinations. In the past year our business here grew 200%, so we want to launch the site under a .com.ar domain.”

The company is also sensitive to the current environment of currency controls which makes coming up with rental payment in US dollars a challenge for Argentines traveling domestically: “We have already implemented a peso payment option, and we want to incorporate payment methods that will give both traveler and host the ability to pay and receive payment without losing so much on taxes.”

Airbnb’s arrival comes at a time when local short-term property owners are anxious to find better platforms like Airbnb, Luxury Retreats and soloduenos for maximizing occupancy of their units. Thanks to market saturation, double-digit inflation and fewer tourist arrivals in 2012, Minutouno’s Mariana Leiva says short-term apartment rentals in Buenos Aires are no longer the boom they were a decade ago. (Full Story in Spanish)

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