Airbnb is using AI to analyse short-let booking attempts over the new year period to help prevent against homes being taken over for potentially destructive parties. Jenny Southan reports

Airbnb has imposed restrictions on certain bookings over New Year’s Eve that aim to reduce the risk of unauthorised and disruptive parties in local neighborhoods, and is deploying AI-powered technology to help enforce them.

The company says that the proprietary AI and machine learning technology is being activated in several countries and regions globally. The aim is to try to identify one-, two- and three-night booking attempts for entire home listings over the holiday weekend that could be potentially higher-risk for a disruptive and unauthorised party incident and block those bookings from being made.

The technology looks at hundreds of signals that could indicate a booking is higher risk for this type of incident, like the duration of the trip the guest is trying to book, how far the listing is from their location, the type of listing they’re booking, and if the reservation is being made at the last-minute.

Naba Banerjee, head of trust and safety at Airbnb, says: “When it comes to how we use technology like AI, we’re focused on taking a thoughtful approach that aims to benefit Hosts, guests and neighborhoods. We’re optimistic these measures will help have a positive impact for the communities we serve.”

The countries and regions where these measures will be in effect are the US, including Puerto Rico, plus Canada, the UK, France, Spain, Australia and New Zealand, and will see:

  • Restrictions on one-three night reservations – Airbnb technology will block certain one- to three-night entire home bookings identified as potentially higher-risk for a party incident.
  • Mandatory anti-party attestation – Guests able to make local reservations will need to attest they understand Airbnb bans parties and that if they break this rule they face suspension or removal from the platform.

Airbnb brought in anti-party measures last NYE that saw thousands of people globally blocked from booking an entire home listing on the platform, including approximately 63,550 people in the US, 13,200 in the UK, and 5,400 in Australia.

Moreover, since first introducing party prevention measures for New Year’s Eve in 2020, Airbnb has seen a “meaningful reduction” in the rate of party reports over the holiday.

Disruptive and unauthorised parties on Airbnb are apparently “rare”, and these efforts build on existing measures and resources to promote responsible travel and help enforce Airbnb’s global party ban, which includes: