This much needed move, we want every other online travel agency and distributor to follow suit.
Airbnb has informed operators that it will waive all host fees for Experiences for two months once the company resumes offering them. The host fees represent a 20% commission on all tours and activities offered through the Airbnb Experiences.
Airbnb provided this statement:
“When it’s time to reactivate, we’ll waive our fees for Experiences hosts who are currently active so they can hit the ground running. Fees will be waived for the first 2 months up to 1000 USD per host.”
Tour, activity and attraction operators, under enormous financial strain since the implementation of a near global lockdown on all travel and tourism from early March, have repeatedly called on OTAs (online travel agencies) to reduce commissions during this time. Viator President Ben Drew, speaking at Arival Online last week, did not think such an initiative would help: “10% or 20% of nothing is still nothing,” he said.
However, a suspension or reduction of commissions by OTAs for a period once travel resumes would help cash-strapped operators rebuild their depleted balance sheets.
Airbnb has suspended all Experiences, currently at more than 40,000 worldwide, through April 2020. The communication also indicates that the company is providing a US$25 coupon to all travelers who had an Experience cancelled as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. They hope the move will stimulate rebooking when travel restrictions are lifted.