Airbnb is trying to put the kibosh on disruptive post-vaccination summer parties by launching it “Summer of responsible travel” plan, aimed at providing more support to hosts and their neighbors, and adjusting policies to avoid using Airbnbs for anything other than calm, socially distant stays.
The most notable change from Airbnb is a ban on one-night or last-minute stays on July 4, at least for guests who do not have a history of receiving positive reviews from Airbnb hosts. The company is aiming for the fourth because it says the holiday is seen as a ‘reopening date’ for the US and possibly an opportunity for large gatherings that could distribute COVID-19
As the policy stands now, there are still some loopholes that could allow major July celebrations to take place. If you have already booked for today, those reservations will be honored; the same is true if you have multiple positive reviews but just decided to have an eruption meeting. But if you’re new to the platform and don’t have a review history, it might be more difficult to book a one-night stay. The policy is similar to what Airbnb tried on Halloween. During that vacation, it canceled already booked one-night reservations and refunded hosts, but it doesn’t seem to be the same with the Fourth of July.
Airbnb previously announced a global ban on house parties in 2020 and is currently closing meetings for 16 people. It is not clear how often that policy is enforced or whether more people show up for an event to which only 16 people have been invited. The last time Airbnb blocked and canceled reservations for an event was during President Biden’s opening week, but the July 4 policy is more lenient. Still, Airbnb may be influencing people who planned to book a place while saving themselves on reservation money.
Airbnb will also start offering discounts on sound detection devices via a company called MinutAirbnb doesn’t specify the discount amount, but sensors cost $ 129 and monthly plans can cost as much as $ 14.99 per month. Minut’s sensors don’t pick up anything, but they track movement and loudness and automatically send notifications to guests when they exceed certain decibel levels. It’s not as creepy as it could be, but it can still make guests feel uncomfortable. Airbnb says hosts should state whether they use Minut’s devices on their listing pages.
Airbnb is also expanding its neighborhood support line to cover Spanish-language calls. Neighborhood Support is a 24/7 service that neighbors can use to complain about Airbnbs, a kind of first layer of protection to prevent hosts and guests from necessarily dealing with local authorities about something like a noise complaint – assuming an annoyed neighbor knows how to call the hotline number (855-635-7754) to get you started.
Airbnb filed for disclosure during the pandemic, and in the process revealed a loss of revenue of nearly $ 700 million in 2020. Everything Airbnb has done since then has happened in the shadow of whether it was difficult year to rebound. Airbnb is in a difficult situation; it wants to encourage travel, but it must also keep guests safe without completely preventing them from using its service. It seems that the “Summer of Responsible Travel” is both about encouraging guests to remain accountable and about actually enacting the law.