With the summer quickly approaching, many consumers will now be thinking about booking vacation rentals. Following feedback from its customers, Airbnb has just announced that it will be introducing a new set of improvements that it hopes will make the rates more transparent.
The changes are being introduced under the banner of “Airbnb Rooms”, which should improve price transparency. Currently, when booking a property through Airbnb, the lower prices shown on the map don’t always stay that way once the customer clicks on the listing.
Instead, the actual prices are often significantly higher, as extra fees are added on like “cleaning fees”. This trick is frequently used by hosts, as it means they can advertise low monthly rates on the map view and this translates to higher click rates and more bookings.
To address this issue, which is a common grievance among people using the platform to book a rental, Airbnb says it will be introducing a new “Total Price Display” feature.
When using the feature, guests will be able to view the total price for their stay across the entire app, including the price filter, listing pages, and map view. The total price will include everything they will pay before taxes, including extra fees like cleaning fees, service fees, and local taxes.
Among some of the other changes, Airbnb will also be increasing the level of transparency about hosts. Guests said their feedback was that they want to know more about the hosts, so the company has now introduced something called a “Host Passport” to make it easier. The Host Passport will give guests more information about the hosts they are choosing.
In a press release, Airbnb said: “Guests can view the total price with fees, before taxes, across the entire app including in search results, price filter, maps, and listing pages.
With Airbnb Rooms, we’re getting back to the idea that started it all – back to our founding ethos of sharing. Airbnb Rooms are often more affordable than hotels, and they’re the most authentic way to experience a city. This is the soul of Airbnb.”