According to a recent study Airbnb has about 150 million users with about 650,000 hosts spread all across the globe. Most people use Airbnb for booking stays while traveling instead of conventional hotels. With Airbnb's continuous growth and listings provided in over 191 countries, many issues have surfaced with regard to safety. Incidents over the past years have shed some light on some insights concerning Airbnb, and it's safety.
Global Perception of Airbnb Safety
- Overall, the perception of Airbnb remains positive with the majority users pleased with their experience. However, there are risks for both users and hosts with numerous circumstances worldwide where safety has been called into question.
- These circumstances, as well as isolated horror stories in the news, have all had an impact on the perception of Airbnb safety. There are many measures both travelers and hosts can now take to avoid potentially dangerous situations.
What Travelers Are Most Concerned About
- The most commonly reported incidents regarding safety are still the ones travelers are most concerned about. Travelers reported being most concerned about scams, including fake listings or falsified descriptions, unsafe neighborhoods, and uncomfortable/unsafe living conditions.
- Travelers even have an increased concern for privacy with an alarming percentage of travelers reporting having found a hidden camera(s) in their Airbnb.
Impacts of Past Safety Incidents
- Past recorded safety incidents have made people wary because of all the people come and go, minimal surveillance, noise complaints, people renting properties for things of unethical nature. They have impacted the precautionary measures taken by all parties involved to ensure that people feel safe and have a positive experience.
- Airbnb has taken various steps to ensure safety and put measures in place to authenticate hosts and their listings.
- Airbnb has also even been scrutinized for impacting neighborhood dynamics, and even the housing market in certain areas.
Steps People Can Take to Ensure Safety
- One of the many steps to ensure safety before booking is to read host reviews and view their ratings. Travelers should also go over all amenity details listed to look for safety features such as carbon monoxide detectors. It is also strongly encouraged that all communication and payment transactions are kept strictly through Airbnb where there is documentation to reference.
- Outside of the Airbnb website, travelers can research a host or see if they have had a background check done. It would also be significant to research your destination and check for warnings or alerts in regard to travel or the specific destination.
- Insurance can also be purchased by hosts or guests to cover any unforeseen circumstances or damages. The site even offers safety workshops.
Where People Look for Safety Information When Using Airbnb
- Aside from relying on information directly from the Airbnb site, there are an array of other places you can search for safety information. It would be wise to search for any news articles, blogs, and reviews relating specifically to your intended destination.
- When it comes to the worlds largest accommodation-sharing platform, the global perception of safety is constantly shifting. Demographics are always changing, technology is always expanding, and security features are constantly being updated and/or added.
- The way we communicate and the resources we have at hand, at any given time, are more efficient. Even with surveys, past safety issues noted, and isolated circumstances in the news, there is no real definitive way to measure perception on something that is rapidly changing at a constant speed.