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The Wall Street Journal reports Airbnb US listings are starting to take a hit as big events are cancelled, with bookings similarly tanking in major cities worldwide amid the coronavirus pandemic. Unsurprisingly, new data from AirDNA says bookings in Beijing fell 96% in the week 1-7 March, with Seoul, Rome and New York City also dropping substantially. WSJ correspondent Preetika Rana quotes one Airbnb ‘superhost’:

“I survived guests stealing my car, guests burglarizing my home, guests with drug paraphernalia and even guests operating a suspected pop-up brothel. Coronavirus has been the worst and will force me to close.”

The Financial Times is also saying that Airbnb has seen its bookings collapse by 40 per cent in big European cities as tourists begin to delay or cancel travel plans: “The home rental company declined to comment on whether the disruption would cause it to postpone its planned IPO, but a spokesperson pointed to prior statements on the 2020 target.” In the midst of this pandemonium Airbnb has set aside $1 million for a competition to build fantasy homes, while at the same time being ordered to pay back up to €200million after a court ruled it was not entitled to claim booking fees from its Dutch customers.

Relying on data “acquired from a number of experts and previous studies in the industry”, Ultimo-based MadeComfy, which currently has 188 homes listed on Airbnb, has circulated their ‘Australia’s 2020 Airbnb and short-term rental report’. The report concludes with “tips for homeowners seeking extra income from their holiday homes, as well as property investors who would like to further expand their portfolios in 2020 and diversify into the STR market”.

One Airbnb landlord is asking: “Are there ANY benefits from the new stimulus package for hosts? I am making my living from my Airbnbs. Only one or two bookings for the next month…it’s very frightening. I need to pay my mortgage, unlike other countries here they didn’t say yet they will let people defer their payments.”

Three days ago Airbnb News announced “More Flexible Reservations” to “help hosts and guests navigate uncertainty”. One can enjoy ‘Rewards for Flexible Hosts’, an ‘Easy Filter Search for Travel(l)ers’, and a ‘100% Airbnb Guest Service Fee Refund’.

Remember those NSW landlords who shunned tenants, judging their rental contributions “insufficient”? While there are still Airbnb landlords seeking advice on Chinese Australian ‘guest’ leaving a toilet set up, provoking fears the young woman is squatting on the toilet rim, Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore has supplied the following key coronavirus (COVID-19) contacts:

NSW Health:

National Coronavirus Information Hotline: 1800 020 080

National Translation Service: 131 450


Wash your hands – Cover your coughs and sneezes – Stay home if sick

Homes not Hotels Communities not Transit Zones People before Profits Neighbours not Strangers


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