Airbnb is making adjustments to its refund policy in an attempt to balance the needs of hosts and guests on its home-sharing site amid the global coronavirus outbreak that has severely reduced travel demand.
As it operates as an online platform — connecting people who want to rent out all or part of their home with travellers seeking accommodations — it’s choosing to take a lighter touch with hosts.
The San Francisco-based startup said it will reward hosts who are more flexible or generous on offering refunds. The company will offer promotions for those listings to drive new bookings and will waive the standard 3% host fee on new reservations for those listings through 1 June.
“When a crisis like coronavirus hits, we know both hosts and guests are affected,” Airbnb said in a statement. “Hosts lose earnings that they rely on to make ends meet. Guests are losing hard earned vacation savings.”