It worked in 2021 and 2020.
Now, as summer creeps closer, Airbnb plans to once again try and stop as many unauthorized parties as possible in New Jersey and across the nation.
Airbnb piloted the global party ban over Halloween and New Year’s Eve 2020 because it was in the best interest of public health, said Ben Breit, Airbnb director of Trust and Safety Communication.
Following the announcement of that ban, a new product was introduced on July 4, 2021, aimed at trying to stop unauthorized parties.
Guests without a history of positive reviews on Airbnb were prohibited from making one-night reservations and it deployed even more stringent restrictions on certain two-night bookings, as well.
It worked, said Breit. The 2021 Fourth of July weekend was relatively quiet. In New Jersey alone, more than 3,000 people were unable to make bookings because they fit that description and tried to make one and two-night reservations.
Overall, over 126,000 guests without histories of positive reviews were impacted by the party ban over the Fourth of July weekend in 2021 across the nation.
The party ban will be in effect for this year’s Fourth of July. Breit said Airbnb is expanding the anti-party system to include Memorial Day weekend. Those who break the party ban rule may be subject to legal action from the company.
Guests who have a history of positive reviews on Airbnb will not be subject to these restrictions and they can book freely.
“What we find is that if you have that history of positive reviews, you have earned that trust through the platform. You’ve shown time and time again that when you’re making a booking, whether it’s for family travel or business or a weekend getaway, you’re doing so for the right reasons, that you’re respecting property, that you’re respecting neighbors,” Breit said.
For the most part, Airbnb guests are families traveling for the right reasons, he added. This ban is for those not traveling for the right reasons, and who plan to be disruptive.
Both Memorial Day and the Fourth of July are important weekends for Airbnb hosts to make bookings for responsible travelers. He said that’s why the party ban allows exceptions for those who have a history of positive reviews.
Breit made it clear that just because thousands fall into the description of not having a history of positive Airbnb reviews, that does not mean that they’re all party animals trying to be disruptive. It could very well mean that they’ve never made an Airbnb booking before.
Since they don’t have prior bookings, they can’t have positive reviews yet either, Breit said.
Airbnb also has a Neighborhood Support Line, which provides a forum for neighbors to flag a party in progress at a home believed to be listed on Airbnb.
There is a 24/7 safety team that will jump on the case if a party in progress has been reported so they can best de-escalate the situation.
The forum is at www.airbnb.com/neighbors. If the neighbor prefers to call in, there is a 24/7 hotline available.
Jen Ursillo is a reporter and anchor for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org
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