Please support the local economy and stay in a hotel.
Hotels are designated accommodation for tourists. They have to meet fire safety criteria, they are inspected regularly, and the staff are trained professionals - who pay tax on their wages. Also, as employers, hotels must pay health and social insurance contributions for their employees. Hotels also must charge VAT (sales tax) of 15%, which is an important source of revenue for keeping our streets clean, our hospitals and schools open, and maintaining our transport system.
The original concept of an airbnb is quite noble - stay in a local's spare room, and see the city from a local's perspective. However, in reality, that is not how must airbnbs actually function. Rather than renting out spare rooms for pocket money, entire flats are being rented out on airbnb as operate as illegal, unregulated hotels. There is no fire safety regulation, no inspections, and no tax paid.
By staying in an airbnb you have a net negative effect on an area. Firstly, there's the tax that isn't paid, meaning that our society is being deprived of funds that are necessary provide basic services. Secondly, airbnbs drive locals out of areas. Each flat that operates as an airbnb is another flat that local people can't stay in, and the resultant shortage of availabile accommodation pushes up our rents to the point that we are straining to make ends meet. On average, rents in Prague have gone up by 30% in the last two years. Finally, airbnbs break down communities in buildings. Instead of living in houses of good neighbours, we are increasingly finding our communal hallways filled with an unceasing parade of strangers with suitcases.
There is a space for tourist accommodation - in hotels and regulated apartments - and there are hundreds of hotels to choose from. You can find lots of small hotels in the residential districts, a short tram ride from the city centre. Please stay in a small hotel in a residential district and you'll have the best of all possible worlds - you'll support the local economy, create employment, pay tax into our coffers and get a flavour for local life outside the tourist centre.