By Catherine Thorbecke, CNN Business
Airbnb said Tuesday it will make permanent a ban on parties originally implemented in the early months of the pandemic, citing its effectiveness at curbing unauthorized gatherings.
The company announced a temporary ban on all parties in August 2020 as part of an effort to mitigate the spread of Covid-19 through social distancing efforts. It also followed reports of Airbnb customers throwing unauthorized ragers in the homes they rented through the platform.
Airbnb has since seen a 44% year-over-year decline in the rate of party reports, which it attributes to the policy change.
“Over time, the party ban became much more than a public health measure,” the company said in a statement on its website Tuesday. “It developed into a bedrock community policy to support our Hosts and their neighbors.”
The company said guests who attempt to violate these rules will face consequences varying from account suspension to full removal from the platform. It added that over 6,600 guests were suspended from Airbnb in 2021 for attempting to violate the party ban.
Codifying the party ban policy builds on previous efforts by the company to crack down on unauthorized parties, including restricting users under the age of 25 from booking entire home listings in their area if they don’t have a history of positive reviews.
The permanent policy also comes after two teens were killed and several people were injured at a party thrown in an Airbnb-rented property in Pittsburgh earlier this year. Airbnb said at the time that it banned the person who booked the property, and that the unauthorized event was thrown without the knowledge or consent of the host.
Like other parts of the travel industry, Airbnb’s business was initially hit hard by the pandemic. But the company has since experienced a surge in demand
In the first three months of this year, Airbnb posted revenue of $1.5 billion, a 70% jump compared to the year prior. In May, the company unveiled a major revamping of its product, including introducing new ways for people to search for homes via unique categories and making it easier to book longer stays amid the rise of remote work.
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