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Airbnb: Party crackdown has stopped 6,000 'potentially risky' bookings in San Diego

Posted at 11:53 AM, Jun 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-29 10:20:22-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Airbnb said Monday that its crackdown on unauthorized parties in the San Diego area has blocked thousands of potentially risky reservations.

The vacation rental booking company said that since it began its campaign last year, 6,000 people were either blocked or redirected while making potentially risky reservation attempts. That's compared to 15,000 in Los Angeles and 4,500 in Las Vegas, according to Ben Breit, the head of Trust and Safety Communications for Airbnb.

"Probably many of them are great people that were trying to book for legitimate reasons but haven’t earned that trust yet on Airbnb," Breit explained.

Breit said the attempt to stop more unauthorized parties from happening is working so far.

"We've been gradually escalating our measures to try and stop unauthorized parties to the best of our abilities," said Breit. "Everyone deserves the right to have peace and quiet in their neighborhood."

The new figures were announced ahead of the July 4 holiday weekend, when bookings and gatherings are expected for many of San Diego's tourism hotspots. Airbnb added that to prepare for the holiday, it's prohibiting guests that don't have a history of positive reviews from making one-night reservations of entire homes across the country.

"Parties are rare, and the great majority of guests to San Diego contribute positively and are respectful. However, when parties happen, we know it can be disruptive for Hosts and neighbors, which is why we’ve continued to invest in trust and safety," the company said in a release.

Last year, Airbnb started restricting local reservations by guests under the age of 25 without a history of positive reviews under certain circumstances, in an effort to curb unauthorized parties. This makes up most of the blocked or redirected reservation attempts in San Diego, according to Breit.

"I don’t have any reviews on Airbnb and I’m trying to book a six bedroom mansion one neighborhood over in San Diego that doesn’t seem like a particularly good idea," said Breit while giving an example of a booking that would be blocked. "It's not something that we would allow to go through and therefore would block."

That policy is in addition to Airbnb's current party ban, which is set to continue through at least the summer. The party ban started during the pandemic in August 2020, at a time when COVID-19 cases were rising and public health restrictions limited large gatherings.

During that same month, Airbnb announced that it had suspended or removed 17 listings in San Diego for violating policies surrounding parties or that had received several complaints. Those properties included residences in the San Diego, Escondido, La Mesa, Clairemont Mesa, Linda Vista, Mission Bay Park, North Park, Pacific Beach, Peninsula, Southeastern San Diego, and Uptown areas.