Airbnb Hosts Feel COVID-19 Impact With Policy Change


After a change by Airbnb that lets visitors who had planned to travel during the next month get complete refunds on their reservations, homesharing hosts are being impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The move had been put into practice over rules that had been implemented by hosts for protection, CNBC reported.  

Airbnb had made the rule known on Saturday (March 14), allowing travelers who have bookings from then until April 14 to get a complete reimbursement. Hosts in states such as Florida, California, and Utah have told the outlet they have lost thousands of dollars in bookings. 

Zach Jacobs and his wife only last week had 95 percent of their Airbnb dates in Tampa, Florida reserved for the three months to come. The figure had been diminished to 5 percent amid proliferation of the coronavirus in the United States. 

Jacobs said, according to the report, “We went from a fantastic outlook for the next three months, to absolutely devastating — every single reservation disappeared.” He continued, “We will have to get very creative on paying the bills and keeping the mortgage paid.”

The company, for its part, has moved to assist its hosts. On Tuesday, Airbnb mailed House leaders a letter asking them to ratify legislation that could aid the network of hosts from the company via loans or tax relief. 

Airbnb mailed hosts a note detailing the decision’s rationale that said the company “did not want guests making the decision to put themselves in unsafe situations and creating a public health hazard because of a commitment to their bookings.”

In separate news, furloughs around the globe are occurring at Marriott International due to the coronavirus pandemic, and the collapse of tourism and travel that has come about as a result.

Marriott said it is beginning to furlough “tens of thousands” of its staffers as it keeps on closing hotels globally. The company, for its part, has approximately 130,000 people employed throughout its managed properties. 



On Tuesday, March 31, 2020 at 9:00 AM (ET) join PYMNTS CEO Karen Webster and panelists Vincent Kilcoyne and Roland Brandli of SmartStream for an in-depth discussion on the need to use transformative digital strategies to remain relevant in today’s challenging financial landscape. The discussion will cover strategies that will allow clients to improve operational control, reduce costs, build new revenue streams, mitigate risk and comply accurately with regulation.