Airbnb sets out commitments for responsible tourism recovery

Ahead of the reopening of self-contained accommodation on April 12, Airbnb has set out its commitments and suite of tools to support authorities and communities through the responsible recovery of tourism in their areas. 

In a first for the UK, Airbnb has offered local governments, politicians and tourism organisations in Brighton, Cornwall, Devon, Cumbria and Wales access to Airbnb’s City Portal. Through this portal, users can access tools and data to help address a range of local queries including:

  • Data – The City Portal’s dashboard which will provide access to local data, trends and travel insights.
  • Dealing with incidents – Access to resources such as the Airbnb Neighbour Support Line and support from our Law Enforcement team
  • Connecting with Airbnb – Access to an Airbnb team member, providing one-to-one support with City Portal queries, and other issues that may arise locally such as a question about an Airbnb listing in the community.

Airbnb is also offering destination marketing organisations (DMOs) the opportunity to work together on a range of initiatives including:

  • The Rural “Bootcamp– Airbnb’s Rural Bootcamp is designed to help rural communities seize the opportunity of the travel reopening through online Host education programmes. 
  • Local travel advisories – Guidance to guests to encourage responsible and considerate tourism 
  • Connecting with the Host community – Connecting DMOs with Hosts in their area to collectively showcase the best of what the local area has to offer.

Patrick Robinson, Director of Public Policy at Airbnb, said, “Along with everybody else in the UK we are eagerly anticipating the reopening of tourism and the benefits it brings to communities. It’s vital that when travel returns, it is responsible, safe and considerate. That’s why we have been busy building tools to support local authorities and their response. Longer-term we believe a nationally run registration system is the best framework to support sustainable tourism across the UK and look forward to sharing our recommendations with the Government following an extensive consultation with local communities.”

This summer, Airbnb will share the findings from its consultation with stakeholders from across the UK on proposals for a registration system from short-term lets. Operating much like the existing registration systems for short-term lets introduced across Europe, the proposed system would apply to hosts on all online booking platforms and be run centrally by the Government, offering a streamlined process and giving local authorities visibility of short-term rental activity in their area across the industry.

In preparation for the reopening of tourism, last week Airbnb removed or suspended 200 listings in the UK following a crackdown on so-called ‘party houses’. The suspensions primarily focused on listings with descriptions that appeared to allow parties, which is against Airbnb’s policy. This means that in the last six months Airbnb has removed or suspended more than 1,000 listings in the UK for this reason.

Airbnb has also written to police chiefs across the UK to set out its support towards any investigations that may involve a listing on the Airbnb platform. It has also shared details about Airbnb’s Law Enforcement Portal, which simplifies the process for authorities in the UK to submit valid legal requests for information from a dedicated team at Airbnb.