DENVER (KDVR) – Vacation rental company Airbnb is extending its global ban on parties through the end of the summer in a push to halt so-called disruptive behavior in communities.
The start of summer — unofficially kicked off by Memorial Day — beckons with vacation plans made possible by relaxed COVID-19 restrictions after a year of coronavirus lockdowns.
However, Airbnb said last week that until further notice, it is imposing a global ban prohibiting gatherings of more than 16 people, including overnight guests and visitors, regardless of host authorization. In addition, no disruptive parties or events are allowed.
Last year, the home-sharing business began imposing stricter limits amid the pandemic, including a global ban on “party houses.” In April, Airbnb announced it would only allow guests with positive reviews to book whole home rentals for one-night stays during Fourth of July weekend.
Airbnb said guests who violate the rules are subject to suspension or removal from Airbnb’s platform. The company also said a host who allows parties that violate the policy could have their property listings removed.
“When a property that’s listed on Airbnb is causing a disturbance — whether that’s excessive noise, a disruptive party, a gathering of more than 16 people, or unsafe behavior — members of the local community can report it at Neighborhood Support, which provides a link to local emergency services,” Airbnb stated on its website.
“The vast majority of our hosts, including in San Diego, were already taking measures to prevent parties and ban parties at their own listings,” Ben Breit, an Airbnb spokesperson, said.
In San Diego, vacation rentals were a hot topic even before the pandemic. Neighbors have complained for years about noise and trash from unruly parties. The San Diego City Council has worked to find a common solution to the frequent complaints, but a real fix that balances both business and neighborhood needs has been elusive.
Airbnb hopes that standing up to those trying to get back into party mode will buy them some much-needed good will.
“It just takes a few bad apples to cause quite a bit of disruption, so we are trying to stop that,” Breit said.
Airbnb said it would reevaluate the policy at the end of the summer and provide an update at that time.
As Memorial Day approaches, Airbnb says more people have been searching for remote destinations where they can experience the outdoors amid the continuing pandemic.
“While we anticipate most trips to be domestic this summer, with remote stays in the U.S. between 50–300 miles making up nearly 70% of searches for Memorial Day Weekend, guests are starting to feel more comfortable with venturing further from home,” the company said in a recent report.
Airbnb added that locations between 1,000–3,000 miles away are making up the second-largest share of trip searches for the holiday weekend.