When the coronavirus global pandemic hit last year, one of the most affected sectors is the travel industry, as non-essential travels are highly prohibited to prevent the spread of COVID-19. But now that more people are getting immunization against the deadly virus, Americans are hopeful to travel again, even just for a short "staycation" out of town or in nearby suburbs.
Because of this, Airbnb is putting its best foot forward by implementing new restrictions that will ensure guests' safety while enjoying their summer vacation this year.
Just recently, the short-term rental online marketplace launched its "Summer of Responsible Travel" initiative - an "8-point plan to help hosts, guests, and communities they call home stay safer."
Airbnb's new restrictions include new rules to help guests and hosts stay healthy and new systems to assist guests when their trip doesn't go as planned.
4th of July Parties
In a press release, Airbnb acknowledges the upcoming celebration of the 4th of July is "being pegged as the 'reopening' date in the US." While the community thinks that this reopening will also be great for the business, they stood firm in following health and safety protocols, preventing mass gatherings.
"That's why we're introducing new rules aimed at helping to prevent unauthorized parties over the 4th of July, similar to the successful initiatives implemented during Halloween and New Year's Eve," the announcement reads.
Airbnb also restricted a one-day stay during the July 4th weekend to avoid guests conducting parties.
"As the July 4 weekend approaches, we are deploying more stringent restrictions on one and two-night reservations that may pose heightened risk for parties," Airbnb said.
However, the site allowed some exceptions to the rule. Guests with a history of positive reviews and has an existing booking may keep their current arrangement. In contrast, guests without a previous positive rating won't be able to make new bookings.
Airbnb is also planning to roll out further restrictions on last-minute bookings as the holiday nears.
Keeping the Peace
Along with the 4th of July restrictions, Airbnb will also assist super hosts worried about parties in acquiring noise detection devices. The technology will help identify excessive noise and potential parties in each unit.
All hosts that will install noise detection devices on their properties will be required to disclose such features and notify potential clients to use the device to comply with the new policy.
Airbnb also announced elevating its Neighborhood Support Line - a 24/7 US hotline that allows neighbors to flag issues in host units, such as parties in progress. Since the hotline has successfully banned house parties in Los Angeles, Florida, Texas, and more, Airbnb upgrades it by having additional languages like Spanish, so non-English speaking neighbors can easily report their concerns.
Meanwhile, other key components of the Summer of Responsible Travel include COVID-19 safety practices (wearing a face mask, observing social distancing, and following Airbnb's five-step enhanced cleaning), enhanced community support, stricter house rules, pool safety, and fire safety.