Responsible tourism: 8 more ethical alternatives to Airbnb

When it comes to accommodation, the seasonal rental giant is not the most ethical solution when you want to travel. Here is a non-exhaustive list of alternatives that make authenticity more synonymous with responsibility.

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Accommodation for Afghan refugees, donations for the victims of the war in Ukraine: Airbnb stands out in times of crisis in favor of solidarity. But if these actions contribute to a fringe of the world’s population in distress, other actions of the giant of the vacation rental have a more negative impact. Starting with the housing crisis in some cities around the world such as Lisbon but also on the French coast, where it is increasingly difficult to find accommodation all year round because of the booming vacation rental industry.

Another problem: Airbnb, which is very popular on our territory, pays little tax in France. In 2021, the French subsidiary of the American company paid a tax on profits of 366,451 euros, reports BFM-TV. This is 79% more than in 2020 but it remains, notes the news channel, a meager sum compared to the profits of the platform, the leader in the seasonal rental market in the world.

By way of comparison, Airbnb France’s turnover reached nearly 35 million euros in 2021, compared to 16 million euros in 2020. As for its net profit, it stabilized from 546,791 euros in 2020 to 534,617 euros the following year, still according to information from BFM TV.

If Airbnb is the market leader, other platforms exist to find accommodation, whatever your destination. In France, Europe or abroad, find the one that suits you best via this non-exhaustive list.

Photo : MBNEWS /shutterstock


Lower commission costs, taxes paid in France, transfer of its turnover to associations for the defense of the environment and its biodiversity… Bedycasa immediately positions itself as a counter-example to Airbnb and others. You can stay there with locals in France and abroad for a minimum recommended duration of two nights. The rest is on a case-by-case basis depending on the hosts of the platform. As a bonus, you can directly calculate, thanks to a module, the carbon impact of your trip. Something to think about before take the plane to go on vacation.


A more ethical and economical alternative: welcome to Couchsurfing. The idea of ​​this platform is simple, it’s about connecting travelers with hosts offering accommodation for free. Each host imposes his rules: some will have the time to devote to showing you around their city while others simply offer a piece of sofa or a single room in memory of the good old days when he himself traveled the world in a backpack. back. Events are also organized in the 200,000 cities listed by the site. Enough to easily meet locals ready to share what they know about their city.

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With such a name, difficult not to see in Fairbnb an alternative that is openly positioned against the famous platform dedicated to seasonal rentals. How does this platform proceed to ensure travelers contribute to responsible tourism?

“We work with local authorities to verify our hosts and with our local nodes to define sustainability rules to protect the community from the unwanted effects of tourism”, assure the creators on their site. Thanks to the profits generated, Fairbnb also finances “social projects”, validated by the local population. Fairbnb is available in Germany, Belgium, Croatia, Spain, France, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal and Switzerland.

To know more : Are you looking for a more ethical and supportive alternative to Airbnb? This is Fairbnb.


“Less carbon-intensive than a Paris-Dubai, more French than a Uniqlo sweater and greener than a cruise ship” : with its slogan, the platform GreenGo goes straight to the point. With it, you can find seasonal accommodation only in France. Enough to give yourself a good reason to visit this beautiful country and to promote tourism close to home. GreenGo also claims a lower commission than those of the giants Airbnb and Booking. “For a fair remuneration of the hosts and a fair traveler price”, can we read on the site which offers classic accommodation as well as the most unusual. So, will you fall for the experience in a yurt, treehouse or tiny house ?

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Home Camper

Do you love nature and are not afraid of camping? Then this alternative could be useful for you: it is about Home Camper, a platform where you can simply book a camping spot in a garden or private land. According to the website “more than 58,000 pitches to book at homestays” in 42 countries. Some hosts even offer access to a swimming pool or to be surrounded by their farm animals. Or how to change sometimes soulless campsites…


What’s the point of renting a home when you can simply…exchange it? This is the whole concept of the platform HomeExchange. 450,000 homes are listed in 157 countries around the world. To be able to put your suitcases in one of them during your vacation, you will have to pay 149 euros per year in subscription fees.

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By becoming more professional, Airbnb has lost its authenticity. Homestay proposes to find it thanks to a size condition: accommodation is offered by locals only (called “host families”), therefore sharing their accommodation with travelers. Homestay is present in 176 countries.

Mister B&B

Homophobia and LGBTQphobia are a scourge in the world and one-time accommodation and seasonal rental platforms are not spared. So to assure LGBTQ+ people that they are on “safe” ground, there is now the platform Mister B&B. For each reservation made on the site, funds are also donated to associations fighting against LGBTQ+ discrimination. “Occasionally we also help LGBTQ refugees or homeless LGBTQ youth in an even more direct way by offering them shelter with the help of our host community”can also be read on the Mister B&B website.

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Responsible tourism: 8 more ethical alternatives to Airbnb