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I’ve used Airbnb a couple of times, using them again in two weeks when I visit NY. My guess is that there are two different cross purposes here.
Airbnb who seem to be a reputable company based on not just my own experience but friends and family. Their USP is offering different or unique accommodation which wouldn’t normally be available to regular tourists. In my case when we visit NY in two weeks, we are staying with a family in Queens. Much more interesting than a hotel in Manhattan. So I can see how and why Airbnb work as they do.
However, I guess (only my guess), is that the Catalan government is worried about lost tax revenue and/or protecting registered hotels/hostels/etc.
I’m sure a solution could be found that allows Airbnb to continue operating in the region. After all, it still brings revenue to the region and the property owners/bars/attractions etc.