CEO Brian Chesky kicked off this week’s talk with an update on the state of global travel: 4 billion people around the world are now staying at home, borders continue to close, and many airlines have grounded their flights. The travel industry is struggling, and we know hosts are feeling the impact.
But there’s still a lot to be hopeful about, especially when we look at what’s happening right here in our community. From offering accommodations to COVID-19 responders to sharing the magic of Airbnb Experiences from your homes, so many of you continue to find ways to host and connect.
Brian talked about all of this and more—here are some of the key takeaways from his latest Host Update:
An exciting milestone for our Frontline Stays program
Just two weeks ago, we launched our Frontline Stays program to offer accommodations for healthcare professionals responding to COVID-19 around the world. And we have been so inspired by the incredible response from our host community. As of today, you’ve already offered over 100,000 places to stay for COVID-19 responders.
The Frontline Stays program is just one more example of the tenacity and generosity of Airbnb hosts. We’re incredibly grateful for all you do.
Clarity around our Superhost Relief Fund eligibility requirements
We’re happy to share that the Superhost Relief Fund is expanding by an extra $7 million USD, bringing it to a total of $17 million USD of support. Many of you are wondering why hosts with more than two listings aren’t eligible to apply. The spirit of this program is to help people who host in their primary homes, and we’ll be prioritizing hosts based on their tenure with Airbnb and how much their earnings have declined due to COVID-19. We’re planning to invite eligible hosts by May 15 and distribute grants by May 31.
In the meantime, we’re finding other ways to help our diverse community of hosts, starting with auto-granting Superhost status in July for anyone who was a Superhost in our April 1 assessment. That means if you were a Superhost in April, you’ll maintain your status regardless of your cancellation or booking rate. Learn more about the Superhost Relief Fund
Support for hosts who have Flexible cancellation policies
Last week, we announced that we’ll be investing $250 million USD to share in the cost of COVID-19-related cancellations. For hosts impacted by these cancellations under our extenuating circumstances policy, we’ll pay 25% of what you would have received through your own cancellation policy.
Since these cash disbursements depend on the amount you would have retained under your cancellation policy, those of you with Flexible and Moderate policies may be less likely to benefit from them. But we’re working on other ways to support you, starting with getting you more bookings as quickly as we can. We've rolled out a new search filter so guests can find your listings more easily, and we're making your listings more visible in other ways, too. We’re seeing signs that this is what guests want—the share of bookings with a Flexible policy is now 15% higher than it was before COVID-19.
A new way to connect: Online Experiences
After pausing Airbnb Experiences last month, we heard from countless hosts who wanted to keep hosting and who believed they could offer a similar level of connection online. So we’re excited to announce the launch of Online Experiences—an idea that came directly from our hosts! Online Experiences will allow hosts to earn money, share their passions, and connect with others, whether it’s an individual hoping to learn a new skill or a group of colleagues doing a team-building exercise. We’re also partnering with local organizations to bring Online Experiences to senior citizens who may be feeling lonely and isolated right now. Hosts are already offering Online Experiences like magic lessons, cooking classes, guided meditations, and more.
Interested in hosting an Online Experience? We'll be offering hosts personalized support services for curating, capturing, and sharing their online content. Learn more at Airbnb.com/onlinehost
Let’s stay connected
Your feedback has been more important than ever as we navigate this unprecedented time. So much of our response has been guided by your personal stories, questions, and suggestions, and we’re going to keep finding ways to connect with you.
We’ll continue to hold listening sessions with hosts around the world, and we’ll be bringing you a Host Update with Brian at Airbnb.com/live every week for a while. Next Tuesday, April 14, Brian will be getting insights about hosting and staying safe during the COVID-19 pandemic from Dr. Larry Brilliant, the epidemiologist who is best known for helping to eradicate smallpox.
Thank you once again for being an Airbnb host. Please continue to share your thoughts and questions in the comments below, and we’ll do our best to address them in future Airbnb.com/live events.
I agree with you Rich - My continued concern is that all of these bookings that were just cancelled, zeroed out. So, as hosts, unless you previously wrote down the payment and fees, you have no idea what was refunded to the guests. Therefore, you have no idea what 25% of the cancellation would be. I have contacted Airbnb about this, and the representative confirmed that all bookings were just zeroed out. Doesn't give me confidence that we will receive 25%. Also, I asked how we could get a SBA loan when we can't now prove what we lost in bookings.
Did all of your bookings get zeroed out? If so, how are you dealing with knowing exactly what you have lost? I wish I had hindsight and had taken screen castes of all of my bookings back in February. I'm so dissapointed. Love to hear from you since you seem very knowledgeable.
I have always used excel spread sheets for all my bookings and are categorized as repeat customers, homeaway, airbnb, etc. I also have on same excel, name, dates, amounts, phone number, taz amount, review, etc... These sites want you to do everything through them so they can build their own databases and want you to depend on them fully which a lot of people buy into, but are regretting it now. Airbnb is the worst when it comes to this. They don't even give you tenants email address and instead persuade you to use the airbnb email address that go to each tenant. I ALWAYS email tenants to their personal email addresses and id and when they ask me why since they say they already gave it to Airbnb, I reply, Airbnb doesn't own my house, I do! When they say how can they trust me with their info, I say "how can you ask me that yet want me to trust you with my house"? lol They get it after I say that 🙂
Bottom line: keep your own books as these companies (not just Airbnb) chip away at your profits with this and that and basically are only an advertisement company acting like they own our homes while holding themselves liable to no one 😞
Is there going to be any relief for hosts? I lost all of my income due to the pandemic and am
barely going to make rent this month.
I had a non-cancellable booking that was cancelled one day before the check-in date , and am eligible for the support from Airbnb as per the Superhost Relief Fund and the $250 milion fund for covid-19 related cancellations. When would we be hearing about this from airbnb? Brian had mentioned April end in his video message.
As expected, changing policies again. I received canned responses from guests who canceled during this. Those canned responses were generated by AirBnB. Now you tell me that if I have a more generous cancellation policy I may not benefit? So my question is, has anyone received any of the 25% return money from AirBnB? I think not.
@Donald128 Yes, hosts have been reporting receiving these payments. Of course, it's a mere pittance, as it is 25% of what a host would have received had their cancellation policy been upheld. So on a $1000 reservation, the host would receive a whopping $137. (Oh, and Airbnb is deducting the 3% host service fee, as well)
Our Airbnb suite is in our home
we are wondering about hosting again
we do not know if it really is the right time or not
do you have any info or suggestions about whether or not we should
A lot of your visitors are from Toronto area and they have the most causes of covid-19 right now
any help would be appreciated
Alpaca farm retreat Stoney Creek
@Sharon1106 Airbnb can't make this decision for you. Most home-share hosts, at least the ones who have weighed in on this forum, are not willing to risk infection at this point nor encourage people to travel from what may be a hotbed of the virus into their communities, which may be relatively unaffected thus far. I'm certainly not thinking about opening up at the present time.
If your suite is fully self-contained, with no common areas or using the same entrance as you do, then hosting could be relatively safe for both you and yor guests, as long as you leave enough time between bookings to allow the place to air out before going in to clean and sterilize. But that doesn't address the latter concern of being part of the spread problem by enabling guests to travel to your area by being open to bookings..