Airbnb to mandate Enhanced Cleaning Protocol compliance

Worldwide: As a part of its continuing efforts to rebuild consumer confidence, Airbnb will make host compliance with its Enhanced Cleaning Protocol compulsory by 20 November.

Hosts who do not comply with the required protocols may be subject to removal from the platform.

Airbnb introduced its Enhanced Cleaning Protocol in April in the immediate wake of national lockdowns around the world. At the time, it set out a five-step sanitation process which includes scrubbing floors, disinfecting high touch surfaces, washing linens on higher heats and ventilating rooms.

In a statement released on Wednesday, the company said it would now require hosts logging in to commit to implementing this programme, wearing masks and maintaining social distancing measures. Chinese hosts, however, will be exempt from these measures due to their own mandatory cleaning programme.

Airbnb said in its statement: “The new requirements will not only help bolster the quality of listings on our platform, they will also help hosts meet changing consumer demands. According to internal Airbnb data, listings enrolled in the Enhanced Cleaning Protocol are some of the most popular listings and have three times more bookings on average than listings that were not enrolled in the protocol.

“Guests continue to turn to listings enrolled in the program to have a more socially distanced travel experience,” it added.

According to company data, 1.5 million listings are already enhanced cleaning compliant, up from 1.2 million last month. Airbnb is aiming to reach the full seven million listings on its platform.

Earlier this week, the company added stricter anti-party measures, including blocking one-night reservations over Halloween and deploying more stringent measures on short reservations. Parties have been officially banned on the platform since August, following a number of violent incidents in its listings where illicit house gatherings were believed to have been held.

Airbnb has been improving its platform’s security and public perception in the lead up to a potential initial public offering, which is rumoured to be finalised by the end of the year. Sources recently told Reuters that the company was seeking to raise up to $3 billion in a December IPO.