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Airbnb’s Japanese Lodging Development Could Put Added Pressure On Hotel Industry

Joe Gebbia, Airbnb CPO and co-founder
Airbnb co-founder and Chief Product Officer Joe Gebbia

Airbnb has built its empire on the culture of home-sharing—allowing people to temporarily rent out their properties for a little extra cash. But it seems the $25B company has expanded its model to urban planning and design as its latest lodging project in Japan nears completion.

The small housing development in Yoshino, Japan, will double as a community center and a tourism hub, possibly putting added pressure on hotel businesses in the area, Business Insider reports. Airbnb users will be able to book rooms on the second floor of the lodging development, and the lower levels will serve as a community center for visitors and local residents.

Led by Airbnb chief product officer and co-founder Joe Gebbia (above), the project will act as a small tourist hub and source of economic income in an otherwise remote location. It won’t hurt the company’s brand awareness either. [BI]