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Airbnb cracks down on New Year’s Eve party bookings in 11 countries, including Canada

By Melissa Lopez-Martinez

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    Toronto (CTV Network) — Ahead of New Year’s Eve, Airbnb is once again clamping down on unauthorized parties after announcing a ban on one-night bookings in Canada and 10 other countries for Dec. 31. On Thursday, Airbnb released a statement saying the ban is intended to put a stop to unauthorized parties and neighbourhood disruptions after a ban last year brought down New Year’s Eve party incidents to 56 per cent. The ban will prohibit accounts with a negative or non-existent booking history from renting out entire home listings for one night. There will also be restrictions for the same accounts trying to book two or three-night reservations, particularly within their local area. Last year, Airbnb introduced this ban for eight countries including; Canada, the U.S., Brazil, Australia, New Zealand, France, Spain and the U.K. This year the ban will not only include these countries but three additional ones; Ireland, Portugal and the Netherlands. “These proactive defences will help to promote responsible travel and help to prevent rare instances of unwelcome behavior, and enable hosts, guests and communities to enjoy their end of year celebrations with added reassurance,” Naba Banerjee, Airbnb’s director of trust product and operations said in the statement. According to Airbnb, an estimated 340,000 guests were restricted from booking stays on New Year’s Eve, the majority of which were in the U.S. with 120,000 guests. The ban comes as the company implemented an amended ban on parties that was initially announced in 2020 to limit large gatherings amid COVID-19. The permanent ban announced in June codifies serious consequences on guests who host large parties, including account suspension and removal from the platform. In October, Airbnb emphasized their ban on parties for Halloween after introducing their “anti-party technology,” that looks into the account’s booking history, length of the desired stay and if the rental is a local stay. In 2021, there were 114,000 people in Canada who were blocked from booking a stay during the Halloween weekend, according to Airbnb. With files from CTV News’ Mitchell Consky and Natasha O’Neill.

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