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Airbnb Considers Charging Hosts for Additional Services

The short-rental platform is considering charging hosts that contract cleaning services with tax-inclusive prices, with respective authorities saying this measure is still in the talks.

The news was shared by Airbnb’s global head of hosting, Catherine Powell during the Future of Lodging Forum 2023 held in London, reports.

Powell commented on Airbnb’s CEO, Brian Chesky’s statement that there is an opportunity to start charging hosts for several services, in addition to offering free products.

Following reports on Airbnb’s delays and paused payments to hosts, the platform claimed that only 0.1 per cent of delays occurred because of an Airbnb system issue. Of those, 99 per cent were resolved within seven days.

Airbnb also said it is considering offering a marketplace for hosts where they can purchase or contract for things such as co-hosts, cleaners and other services. Powell noted there are over half a million co-hosts on the platform and that Airbnb could potentially run a marketplace with vendors offering services to hosts across all markets, as well as startups related to the guests’ experience.

“We have hosts asking us about cleaning services and other things they may or even want to rent,” said Powell.

According to her, Airbnb might include taxes in the all-in pricing that is already implemented in the United States and might be added to certain markets that don’t have it yet. When guests currently want to see the total price for a rental, the initial amount includes the nightly rates, Airbnb’s fees and cleaning fees but not taxes.

Prior to this, customers could see the nightly rates but not cleaning fees, as well as Airbnb’s fees and taxes but they didn’t have a clear view of the total price, and frequently complained about high cleaning fees that guests only learned when it was time to complete the booking. Some hosts, on the other hand, who set the cleaning fees, view it as a profit opportunity.

Powell mentioned that no decisions have been made but she expected Airbnb to eventually include taxes in the total price in all countries where it isn’t displayed. In Europe, this measure applies for years now, where customers can see the total price at first glance, including taxes.

In addition, Airbnb informed that it has suspended hosting of all accommodation facilities in Myanmar, due to the country’s most recent strict laws that forbid foreign tourists from staying at unregistered guesthouses or other accommodation establishments.

Moreover, Airbnb revealed that it is removing listings that haven’t received an official permit from the Canadian government in Quebec, following a fatal fire in Montreal that was located near a part of the city where short-term rentals were concentrated.

Last year, Airbnb pointed out it was in favour of the EU’s proposal for short-term rentals that indicates essential changes should be made to the platform’s practices.

“Airbnb is already working with policy-makers from across the EU on establishing and enforcing fair and transparent STR rules and believes the EU proposal is a major step forward that can introduce clear, simple, and harmonised rules that unlock the benefits of hosting for European families and give governments the information they need to clamp down on speculators and over-tourism,” the statement reads.

Data sharing has been a vocal point for Airbnb, which welcomed the European Union’s proposal that enables data sharing of hosts with the authorities, saying this supports effective policy-making.




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