Airbnb is making a major change to its fee structure for European hosts and guests.
Beginning December 7, Airbnb will no longer charge guests the 15% service fee, but the service fee that hosts pay will increase to 15% from the current 3%. Guests will only pay for the accommodations.
This new fee structure is similar to Booking.com, Airbnb’s major European competitor, which charges owners a 15% fee.
Airbnb explains that this increase will allow owners to have full control of the final price and be more competitive in the market.
According to Airbnb, “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.”
The Portugal News reports that hosts are extremely unhappy and will be passing the costs to guests through higher rental prices.
This is a significant shift in Airbnb’s business model, although it is more aligned with competing platforms. We think it is a matter of time before U.S. hosts get hit with this new fee structure.