America’s popular hotel chain company Airbnb has announced a major change in its online booking policy. The company has restricted bookings of home rental services in multiple countries. The decision was taken in order to check unauthorized parties on the occasion of the New Year. The development comes in the backdrop of a spurt in Covid cases. People across the globe plan New Year Eve parties and make bookings. The company doesn’t want to invite a bad light in the midst of the pandemic. Airbnb said that the change in the booking policy has been introduced to deter unauthorized house parties and large gatherings.
The restriction is applicable in seven countries. These countries are the United States, Canada, Mexico, Britain, France, Australia, and Spain. Airbnb said that guests without a history of positive reviews will not be allowed to make one-night bookings reservations in entire home listings. The company said it will bring in place technology to restrict some local and last-minute bookings. It will block reservations by people without a history of positive reviews. Those having a history of positive reviews will not be covered under this restriction. The company said that already planned one-night bookings will be allowed. Its data showed that one-night New Year’s Eve reservations rarely lead to unauthorized parties.
The San Francisco- headquartered vacation rental firm had in October announced a similar measure. It blocked bookings for the Halloween festival. The company said that the restriction was aimed at helping to protect communities from the virus. Airbnb suffered as coronavirus wreaked havoc on the travel industry worldwide. Its revenue was hit hard by the pandemic. The company reported a 39 percent loss in its gross booking revenue till September. It filed for an initial public offering in November. The company has maintained silence on the number of shares it will offer and the price range. Its IPO will be released after the Securities and Exchange Commission completes its review process. The SEC is currently reviewing Airbnb’s market and other conditions.