Skift Travel News Blog

Short stories and posts about the daily news happenings around the travel industry.

Short-Term Rentals

Airbnb Suspends Listings in Myanmar Amid Political Unrest

11 months ago

Airbnb has suspended hosting of all lodgings in Myanmar as the country has implemented strict laws prohibiting foreign tourists from staying at unregistered guesthouses or hotels.

February this year marked the two year anniversary after the military coup at the start of February 2021, when democratically elected members of the country’s ruling party, the National League for Democracy, were deposed by the Tatmadaw [Myanmar’s military] in a military junta. 

Airbnb suspends operations in Myanmar. Source: Airbnb

The military set a deadline in January for political parties to re-register under a new electoral law and dissolved 40 parties Tuesday, including Suu Kyi’s NLD, for failing to meet the registration deadline.  ”We want to see a return to democracy in Myanmar. We would like to see the release of Aung San Suu Kyi and other people who continue to be detained, and we will continue to work towards that,” said UN Spokesperson Stephane Dujarric. 

It is illegal to rent out private homes or offer short-term rentals to tourists in Myanmar – those failing to abide by the laws could face up to three years in prison. Only permanent residents and foreigners holding specific business visas are permitted to rent out apartments or houses on a short-term basis. 

Airbnb sent out email notices two weeks ago to hosts in Myanmar informing them their listings and reservations are no longer available. It told hosts that their listing would no longer show up on Airbnb.

Separately, on the other side of the world, Airbnb is also removing listings that haven’t received a permit from the government of Quebec following a fatal fire in Montreal in a building that was located in a section of the city where authorities barred short-term rentals.

Tourism

U.S. Adds New Travel Warning Category to 6 Countries Where Citizens at Greater Risk of Being Detained

2 years ago

Tourists and business travelers take note, because the U.S. government has added a new destination risk category.

On Tuesday, President Joe Biden signed an executive order called “Bolstering Efforts to Bring Hostages and Wrongfully Detained U.S. Nationals Home.” And as part of that move, it will introduce a new risk indicator — “D” for wrongful detention — to the State Department’s travel advisories.

These advisories exist for all countries around the world to warn Americans of risks they may face in traveling to particular destinations.

To start with, six countries will be issued the latest “D” category, which is aimed at deterring and punishing wrongful detention of U.S. citizens abroad by authorizing government agencies to impose sanctions and other measures.

They are Myanmar, China, Iran, North Korea, Russia and Venezuela, which are all deemed to be places where there is elevated risk of wrongful detention.

The indicator joins the existing “K” for kidnapping indicator that covers the risk of kidnapping and hostage taking by non-state actors as well as a range of other existing risk indicators.

“We are eager to share how the Biden-Harris administration is expanding the toolkit that the U.S. government uses to help bring home American hostages and wrongful detainees” said a senior administration official.