Inclusive practices to help every guest feel welcome
Hosting on Airbnb means opening your space to people from around the world, and inclusivity is the foundation of hosting.
The key to being a successful Host is understanding how to help make people from all backgrounds feel comfortable and at home. As a community, we’re committed to welcoming every guest – of any race, religion, national origin, ethnicity, disability, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation or age – with respect and without judgement or bias.
Inclusive hospitality is a critical part of being a successful Host. This means:
Accepting and welcoming all guests from all backgrounds
Providing an equitable experience and accommodating guests’ needs
Building connection through differences and commonalities
Adopting an open mindset and willingness to ask questions to learn what guests may need for their stay
Airbnb compiled insights from Hosts, guests and experts so that you can integrate inclusive practices into your hosting routine and extend warm hospitality to every guest. From setting up your listing to leaving a review, these recommended actions can help reduce implicit bias and enable connection.
Pre-booking: Creating an inclusive listing
By making it clear you welcome people of all backgrounds, you can help guests from historically marginalised communities feel comfortable and encouraged to book your place. We’ve learned from speaking with guests that people from these communities in particular look for signals of inclusion in listings prior to booking.
Here are some things you can do to signal that you’re an inclusive Host:
Make it clear within the first few sentences of your listing description that you welcome people of all backgrounds (examples below).
Add your pronouns (examples: she/her, he/him, they/them) to your profile. It’s a way to show how you like to be addressed and it signals that you care about using your guests’ preferred pronouns too.
Turn on Instant Book to allow guests to book your listing without pre-approval. This also signals you’re willing to host anyone who fits your booking criteria.
Offer pre-approvals and encouragement to guests who contact you before booking. We’ve learned that guests sometimes contact Hosts before booking to gauge if they will be accepted and welcomed.
Before rejecting a guest’s booking request, think carefully about your reason. Would you be comfortable explaining it face to face to your guest?
You can try adapting the inclusive statements that other Hosts use in their listings. We spoke with Host Advisory Board members to get these examples:
Peter of San Francisco writes: “My home is a safe space for folks from all minority and marginalised groups. I welcome guests of all races, faiths, genders and sexual orientations.”
“The second photo in my listing shows a monument that says, ‘You belong’,” says Shinya of Osaka, Japan. Shinya also includes a photo that says, “I respect diversity and inclusion” as a statement of intention. You can also write this in a caption.
Pre-arrival: Making every guest feel included
Once your space has been booked, send a warm and welcoming message to your guests. Showing empathy – and not making assumptions – goes a long way here.
Personalise your welcome message with info from your guest’s profile. This can include questions about their interests, hometown and hobbies.
Use gender- and orientation-neutral language when referencing your guests. It’s best to avoid making assumptions about someone’s gender or relationship status.
If a guest asks about accessibility needs, be sure to answer their questions and ask what else they might require.
If you need inspiration, take cues from other Hosts’ messages to guests. Here are two examples:
Michael of Falcarragh, Ireland, says he prioritises creating a warm rapport up front. “I always thank guests for requesting to stay at our listing,” he says. “Then I mention that I’ll contact them nearer their visit, wish them a lovely day, and [tell them] if there is anything they need in the meantime, don’t hesitate to contact me.”
Susan of Denver writes: “Our home is your home. Be comfortable. Make this space your own. If you have ideas to improve our guest experience, please let us know.”
After check-in: Ensuring guests are comfortable
Guests – especially those from historically marginalised communities – have shared that these things can make them feel more welcome:
- Enable self check-in when you can, but ask your guests if they would prefer an in-person check-in.
- Don’t visit guests unnecessarily. Instead, give them privacy and make it clear you’re available (in person or virtually) if they need you.
After checkout: Reviewing guests objectively
Reviews are the foundation of Airbnb’s trusted community. Leaving a review of your guests is a chance to show your gratitude and provide helpful feedback.
Use the same standards to evaluate every guest.
Host guests new to Airbnb when you can, and review them after their stay. A review goes a long way in helping guests with future bookings.
Encourage guests to leave reviews. We’ve learned that travellers from historically marginalised communities often read reviews before booking to find out whether other guests like them felt welcome.
Make sure you’re following these inclusive practices, especially if you’re new to hosting. Remember that the most important things when it comes to welcoming all guests are asking questions about your guests’ needs and keeping the lines of communication open.
You can open the door to inclusivity by simply asking your guests, "What do you need to feel comfortable and welcome in my space?" And, hopefully, by doing that you’ll be making it easier for your guests to open your door in real life and have a great experience staying at your place.
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