Skift Travel News Blog

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

Short-Term Rentals

Airbnb House Party Tech Steers Some Guests Toward Hotels and Private Rooms

2 years ago

Life is often a series of tradeoffs, right? Such is the case for Airbnb, which is testing new anti-house party technology in the U.S. and Canada that would steer some potential guests barred from booking whole homes toward private rooms and hotel stays instead.

Kevin Krejci A house party at an Airbnb rental in San Francisco on April 23, 2013 for Mesh San Francisco. Source: Kevin Krejci/Flickr

“This anti-party technology is designed to prevent a reservation attempt from going through,” Airbnb stated in its press announcement about the technology, which had been piloted in Australia since 2021. “Guests who are unable to make entire home bookings due to this system will still be able to book a private room (where the Host is more likely to be physically on site) or a hotel room through Airbnb.”

 House parties have been a huge problem for Airbnb — and communities — for years.

Airbnb bans them and has for the last couple of years been conducting manual reviews of guests younger than 25 who might have few positive reviews from hosts on the site, or may be booking a home near where they live for just one night or two, for example.

With the tech that Airbnb has is testing in the U.S. and Canada, the manual review still happens after a booking is made, but Airbnb’s tech now looks at additional signals, may review people older than 25, and redirects many of them to optionally book hotel rooms, and private rooms in homes.

Many hotels, of course, wouldn’t welcome guests intent on conducting parties, but there is usually more security and other personnel to ward off problems than there is in a vacation rental where the host is usually not present.

Hosts apparently wanted less of a sledgehammer blocking all these types of potential house-party bookings, and the ability to accept bookings where the chance for a house party would be greatly reduced, such as when hosts are present during the stay.

“We have seen a 35 percent drop in incidents of unauthorized parties in the areas of Australia where this pilot has been in effect,” Airbnb said. “We are now ending the pilot phase in Australia and codifying this product nationwide. We are hoping for similar success as we begin testing this in the U.S. and Canada.”