The Airbnb party ban feature has automatically blocked over 50,000 “suspicious” bookings across 15 U.S. cities as part of the company’s strategy to clampdown on parties during the pandemic.
The automated feature blocked 7,000 in Dallas, 6,000 in San Diego, 5,100 in Charlotte, 3,500 in St. Louis, 3,000 in Columbus, and 2,700 in New Orleans, Airbnb head of trust and safety communication Ben Breit highlighted in a statement to The Verge.
Another 5,000 booking has been blocked in Phoenix, 4,500 in Las Vegas, 4,500 in Seattle, 2,600 in Denver, 2,600 in Portland, 1,800 in Salt Lake City, and 1,500 in Albuquerque. Moreover, 2,000 bookings were blocked in Cincinnati and 3,800 were blocked in Austin, various local media reported.
The American company — which operates an online marketplace for accommodations for vacation rentals and tourism activities — announced a global party ban last year within the rise of the COVID cases.
This step was made to prevent Airbnb rental properties from becoming an alternative to local bars and clubs all of whom were forced to close due to the pandemic.
The company’s measure was an extension to a previous plan that was implemented earlier in 2019 to keep hosts happy and neighborhoods calm, as Airbnb used to actively block short-term rentals it suspects might be used to host large parties.
Airbnb’s CEO took to Twitter to further discuss the measures set in place “Starting today, we are banning “party houses” and we are redoubling our efforts to combat unauthorized parties and get rid of abusive host and guest conduct, including conduct that leads to the terrible events we saw in Orinda.”
“If you are under the age of 25 and you don’t have a history of positive reviews, we will not allow you to book an entire home listing local to where you live,” Brain Chesky, Co-founder, CEO of Airbnb, told The Verge.
This strategy caused a decrease in complaints within short-term rental properties this year between January and May compared to the same period in 2020, according to statistics by Denver’s Department of Excise and Licenses.
Airbnb is now using this system across the U.S., Canada, U.K., France, and Spain, and the “party ban” will continue till the end of summer 2021, as the company announced last May.
The Airbnb party ban feature is just one part of the company’s crackdown, while other tactics include providing discounted noise detection devices to hosts. However, it is important to note that these devices are only noise detectors and do not record sounds for privacy purposes.