Airbnb increases efforts to prevent discrimination in bookings

Airbnb cracking down on booking discrimination.

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Discrimination should have no place in any household and Airbnb is cracking down on discriminatory booking practices following their findings over the past few years regarding anti-discrimination efforts.

Airbnb discovered a discrepancy between how guests perceived as Black are granted short-term reservations compared to their white counterparts and determined that users who were perceived as white had 94.1% booking success rates, whereas users who were perceived as Black had 91.4% success rates.

Airbnb launched “Project Lighthouse” in 2020, a research initiative seeking to identify the best ways to combat racial discrimination and bias toward Black people and other people of color who use Airbnb. Despite the focus on US communities, these changes are being implemented globally to make the platform more inclusive.

What steps will Airbnb take to prevent discrimination?

  • Creating Connection through Enhanced Profiles – Exploring changes to Host and guest profiles to highlight information that can foster more connection.

  • Making More People Eligible to Use Instant Book – Instant Book allows guests to book a listing without requiring Hosts to approve a reservation request. Airbnb looks to make it easier for more people, especially guests perceived to be Black, to use this feature.

  • More Reviews for More Guests – The analysis found that guests perceived to be Black or Latino/Hispanic have fewer reviews than guests perceived as white or Asian. Airbnb will implement changes making it easier for all guests to receive a review when they travel. 

  • Auditing Rejections – Expanding the ability to analyze reservation rejections to help improve policies and products and fight discrimination.

  • Education and Inclusion Resources for Hosts – Airbnb will roll out resources to help Hosts welcome guests of all abilities, genders, and backgrounds; and have plans to explore a range of product features that will support Hosts and guests.

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