As of 7 December, the platform will no longer charge a service fee to guests, passing instead these costs to the owners, who will now pay a 15 percent fee, the migration affects only hosts connected via third party software, not all professional hosts. This decision is not being well received by the hosts, who admit to increasing accommodation prices as a consequence.
“On 7 December, we announced the launch of the new commission structure for all of our professional hosts in Europe”, states the email that Airbnb sent on 19 October, according to ECO. Thus, as of that day, “all professional host accounts will be updated to the new 15 percent commission structure”, added Airbnb.
In the same email, the platform explains that this increase will allow owners to have “100 percent control over the final price for the guest (without any additional service fees added by Airbnb) and be more competitive in the market”. This is because, while the costs for the hosts are increased, the costs for the guests are reduced, and they only pay the value of the accommodation.
Currently, an owner pays a fee that varies between 3 percent and 5 percent, for each booking made in their accommodation, while the guest pays for the stay and also a service fee, which varies between 15 percent and 20 percent. With this change, the costs that the guest incurs isnow passed to the owners. The same operation already happens with Booking.com, which charges a 15 percent fee to owners, not charging additional fees to guests.
“Pilot experiences in countries across Europe where we implemented this change showed a significant increase in reservations. By removing the service charge from guests, hosts can manage the final price that potential guests pay. The hosts always set their prices per night. Some hosts choose to increase their prices to reflect the rate change to maintain the same earnings. These hosts are less likely to see reservations increase. Other hosts find it easier to keep their prices competitive and experience increases in bookings”, said an official Airbnb source to ECO.