Party policy updates, Superhost status extensions & more
In the latest Host Update, Airbnb’s Global Head of Hosting Catherine Powell shares how we're taking action on your feedback
This includes info about our global ban on parties, our cleaning protocol, your Superhost status, community support, and cancellations
If you watched the first Host Update from our new Global Head of Hosting Catherine Powell a couple of weeks ago, you’ll know that we’re rebuilding our business around hosts, and giving you more transparency along the way. We’re looking forward to working together as we return to a more collaborative relationship with hosts like you.
In our latest Host Update with Catherine, she’s focused on key priorities for hosts at Airbnb right now. These include updates on:
How we're handling parties and large gatherings
As travel changes, the way people book stays has changed as well. For the most part, this means more local travel, with guests favoring things like self check-in and plenty of outdoor space. A very small portion of guests, however, has used Airbnb to book places for parties and large gatherings. In an effort to help protect our hosts and their neighboring communities in light of COVID-19, we’re launching a policy that bans parties globally.
Here’s what we’re doing to make sure you have more control over your spaces, and that we help to stop problems before they start:
- Occupancy and gatherings for reservations made on or after August 20 and until further notice are now capped at 16 people. Learn more about our Parties and Events policy
- We’re currently reviewing our rules for specialty and traditional hospitality venues (ex: boutique hotels) to determine if hosts of these listings may set their own rules for events and allow appropriate events at their own discretion. In cases where we receive complaints about these listings and events, or where the type of events are inappropriate, we will follow up with the venues as necessary.
- Guests will be reminded of our updated Parties and Events policy before they leave for their trip
- Airbnb will take action against guests who violate our policies
- In certain countries and regions, we’ve implemented restrictions on some local bookings of entire home listings by guests under the age of 25 who have negative reviews or fewer than three positive reviews
Why it can pay off to commit to higher standards for cleaning
We recently crossed a major milestone: The hosts of more than 1 million listings have committed to our enhanced cleaning protocol. This isn’t just important because of the effort you’re taking to protect yourselves and our community—we’ve also noticed that listings that are enrolled in the protocol are getting booked more often on average than other listings.* In one of Catherine’s next Host Updates, she’ll share more about these guest preferences and cleaning trends.
What we’re doing to support Superhosts
We value our Superhosts, and we know your Superhost status is valuable to you too. So if you’re a current Superhost, we’ve decided to extend your status through March 31, 2021, for the next two assessments—as long as you continue to uphold your response rate and 4.8 overall rating. During this extension, we’ll be waiving our usual criteria for the number of stays and cancellations.
Please note that starting in October 2020, only hosts who meet all four Superhost criteria will be eligible for the $100 USD Superhost travel or Airbnb Experience bonus. As always, thank you for consistently demonstrating what exceptional hospitality means.
How we’re bolstering community support
In our first Host Update, we mentioned that travel recovered faster than we expected, and we weren’t ready to provide the community support that was needed. Here’s what we’re doing to solve this:
- We’ve increased our live-chat availability, so that’s the best way to reach out if you have a non-urgent issue
- Though we’re doing our best to resolve everyone’s questions, we’re prioritizing phone support for those who have reservations within 72 hours
- We’re bringing on 2,000 new agents over the next two months
- We’ll improve as we complete the process of hiring and training new agents every week
How cancellation rates are improving
Cancellation rates have dropped significantly. To give hosts an idea of what’s to come, we want to emphasize that our extenuating circumstances policy does not and will not allow guests to cancel bookings made after March 14 for reasons related to COVID-19.
That means guests who are unable to travel due to COVID-19 who booked after March 14 will be subject to your cancellation policy—unless you or your guest gets sick, or if there are local restrictions in your area.
In early September, we’ll share another update. In the meantime, we’re listening, and we appreciate all the work you’re doing to host through an uncertain time. Please keep sharing your thoughts with us on the Community Center—you can tag Catherine directly: @Catherine-Powell.
*Based on internal Airbnb data from worldwide bookings between July 10 and August 9, 2020
Information contained in this article may have changed since publication.
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