Halloween weekend, and the celebrations that usually come with it, is fast approaching. Airbnb explains how, with the current pandemic in mind, it has increased its efforts to put a stop to any parties and large gatherings that any guests may be planning. These gathering would contravene coronavirus regulations and be a health risk, so Airbnb is taking it very seriously. Here they describe the measures they are taking, particularly in the USA and Canada.
1. New technologies and policies
Trust is the real energy source that drives Airbnb and has enabled us to scale our platform to over 220 countries and regions. Part of maintaining that trust has been through implementing smart community policies and new technologies to protect our hosts, guests, their homes and neighbourhoods – culminating with last week’s announcement that we will prohibit one-night reservations over the Halloween weekend in entire home listings in the United States or Canada.
2. High-risk booking detection systems
We have implemented high-risk detection systems that flag potentially problematic reservations for manual review. Thanks to these systems, we have identified and proactively cancelled nearly 9,000 high-risk reservations in the United States and Canada. This technology helps identify suspicious reservations in an effort to stop unauthorised parties before they start. For example, we look at the duration of the stay and listing attributes such as whether the guest has a history of positive reviews on Airbnb, the size of the listing, and the number of nights of the reservation, amongst many other signals. We have continued to develop this technology and recently announced its expansion to Australia.
Additionally, to complement this risk detection technology, earlier this year we shared our additional safety defences aimed at protecting our hosts and stopping as many large gatherings as possible, including an initiative that restricts certain bookings by US and Canadian guests under the age of 25 of entire home listings in their local area. This technology has blocked over 770,000 distinct reservation attempts in the US and Canada. This restriction does not block guests from booking private room listings and hotel rooms through Airbnb. This technology has also been expanded to the UK, France and Spain.
We also shared an additional product which prevents certain guests from booking entire home listings on extremely short notice in the city where they live, based on data showing that certain last-minute same city reservations have historically resulted in a disproportionate number of unauthorised parties. This protection has blocked over 170,000 distinct reservation attempts in the United States and Canada.
3. Safety during the pandemic
Safety in the midst of this pandemic is our priority, which is why we’ve built on these defences and taken additional steps like introducing an Enhanced Cleaning Protocol to encourage hosts to follow strengthened cleaning guidelines. We have updated our parties and events policy to ban parties globally, and in recent weeks we announced the Airbnbn City Portal to help provide cities with support for trust and safety needs, as well as the prohibition of on-nigh reservations over the Halloween weekend in entire home listings in the US and Canada.
4. Working together
Our hosts are our partners in this mission – the vast majority already prohibited parties in their listings even prior to our introduction of a global ban on parties, which is why we will continue to prioritise our efforts to stop unauthorised parties and gatherings.