After several emails and phone calls I have finally established that I have been unfortunate enough to be one of the selected new hosts who apparently have to accept instant book on any listing I create. I categorically refuse to accept this and have therefore unlisted the holiday property I was intending to add to Airbnb's portfolio.
I understand that numerous other prospective hosts have been affected by this 'experiment' and have also refused to list because of it. It would not be impossible for a software engineer to spend a few hours writing the code to enable us to have the same tools and features on our profiles as all the other hosts on Airbnb. Or are they really not bothered about us and happy to see us go?
If it is the company's plan to make instant book mandatory for all, do they not realise that hoaxers, scammers and those who just see an opportunity to make a quick buck out of travellers will be more than happy to accept it, whereas responsible hosts are much less likely to? Those of us who care about our homes, and the experience of our guests, will always reserve the right to have the final say in who we welcome into them.