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Homesharing service Airbnb is piloting a program that could save guests some serious cash. According to PhocusWire, Airbnb is asking select hosts to join a program that would eliminate guest fees from their listings.
When you book an Airbnb now, guests pay a percentage of the list price as a “guest” or “service” fee, which goes straight to Airbnb. Airbnb also takes a percentage of the hosts’ earnings.
According to an Airbnb email obtained by PhocusWire, the new program will solely charge hosts a 12% fee — eliminating the guest and host fees that normally total about “15% of the listing price.” Guests wouldn’t see any fees on the frontend when booking.
Participation in the four-week trial is voluntary, and the standard fees will return after the test run is over. PhocusWire reports that a source from Airbnb said the company is looking for an alternative model to increase revenue, and its targeting the service to professional property managers. They hope the elimination of fees on the frontend will increase bookings.
Although it appears that this could save travelers money, it’s quite possible that the list price of each Airbnb will rise because hosts might incorporate Airbnb’s increased fees on the backend.
“We are constantly testing new and different ways to help our hosts accommodate more guests,” the company said in a statement to PhocusWire. “This small, temporary, and voluntary pilot is one of the many experiments we are running as we try to learn more about how we can best serve our community.”
Featured image courtesy of Airbnb.
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