Airbnb Will Now Warn Travelers About Hidden Cleaning Fees
Last week, Airbnb announced a series of changes to its platform that aim to make housing more affordable and accessible to many more people worldwide. The company has long been known for its generous policy of paying a commission to hosts (about 20 percent) in exchange for a key to their properties in locations around the world, and the changes announced on Thursday will make it even more effective.
“In 2016, Airbnb is committing to make a lasting impact in providing shelter for over 10 million people in need by 2020. And as we continue working on our goal to double that number by 2020, we will provide more people with the tools to start a home-sharing business and expand their home-sharing network,” said Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky. He went on to describe the changes the company has made to its platform and how the company will provide more funding to the homeless through the Home Sharing Fund, which started in 2015.
Now, hosts will be able to offer a “host discount” to their guests who are traveling more than one night in a row, a type of “pass” that is offered by several other accommodation platforms and often requires a little bit of work from the traveler. Additionally, now, hosts will be able to add other amenities to their properties to add even more value to their guests, such as bikes and pets.
The company also announced that it will be making changes in how it collects and stores a few types of sensitive information, such as credit card data, by offering a new opt-in policy, giving travelers more control over the information they share with other businesses.
It is not clear where the changes could most impact Airbnb travelers, because by the end of 2016, the company will have been around for about five years. However, the new changes could have a particularly significant impact on its international travelers. The company is currently facing an increasing number of complaints from its hosts in Mexico and South America that its business practices have left them without any compensation.
In an effort to help make their homes more affordable, some travelers have been choosing to stay with hosts in more rural areas and away from the cities and towns where they can get a better deal. Because many of these travelers, especially ones in more rural areas, don’t