Tips for hosting guests with accessibility needs
Many Airbnb guests have specific accessibility needs. People with limited mobility sometimes use walking frames or wheelchairs and they want to know before booking travel how well your place can accommodate them.
Since guests often filter searches for accessibility features, showcasing what your space offers can help your listing appear in more searches and increase your chances of getting booked.
Airbnb now has an Adapted Category, which highlights spaces confirmed to be suitable for wheelchair users, with step-free paths to entrances and at least one bedroom and bathroom. Be sure to add any accessibility features you have to your listing – and if your place qualifies, it could be featured in this new category.
Sophie Morgan, a television presenter and disability advocate featured in the video above, became a Host on Airbnb because she wanted to open her specially designed home to fellow travellers. “I’ve worked really hard to make my home accessible for me,” she says. “I know that it would also be great for so many other people – especially those with disabilities – so I really want to share it.”
Sophie acknowledges that it can be hard for those with accessibility needs to travel but tries not to let that stop her from seeing the world. “I’ve been a wheelchair user for about 19 years now,” she says. “The world isn’t designed for people with disabilities, but travelling is 100% still worth it.”
Here are some guidelines for creating an inviting space that guests with accessibility needs can book with confidence.
Add accessibility features to your listing
Features that can help your place stand out to guests include:
- Accessible parking spot
- Lighting on pathways to the entrance
- Step-free path to the guest entrance
- Step-free guest entrance
- Step-free entrances to rooms
- Entrances wider than 32 inches (81.28 centimetres)
- Step-free shower
- Toilet and/or shower grab bars
- Shower or bath chair
- Ceiling or mobile hoists
- Pool hoist
Use photos to highlight the accessibility of your space
In the video above, Sophie suggests adding “as many photographs as you possibly can” to help potential guests with accessibility needs understand whether your home is a good fit.
To ensure that listings are ready for guests with specific needs, we recommend that Hosts add captions to their photos. For instance, you could caption a photo of a bathroom with fixed grab bars and let guests know that it is the only accessible bathroom in the house.
Take photos from multiple angles to help guests understand whether your space will meet their needs. For example, add photos of an accessible parking space to clearly show its location in relation to your house.
All accessibility features are reviewed following Airbnb’s photo guidelines before being added to your listing. If your photo doesn’t clearly show the feature, we may ask you to upload a new photo or remove the feature from your listing.
Preparing for your guests
If a guest contacts you with accessibility needs, asking a few questions before they book can help your guests understand whether your space is right for them.
Examples of helpful conversation starters include:
- Do you have any specific questions about the space?
- Is there anything I can do to make your stay more comfortable?
Before a guest with accessibility needs arrives, think about any final touches that could make your space easier to navigate. A few ideas:
- Moving furniture like chairs and tables to create a wider path in living spaces
- Creating easier access to power points
- Placing household items like towels and dishes in easier-to-reach locations
Create an inclusive and engaging guidebook
A guidebook is your opportunity to give guests local tips that show off your hospitality and your city. When adding recommendations for dining, sightseeing and outdoor activities, try to think like a traveller with accessibility needs.
For example, consider identifying which restaurants have ramps, listing walking trails with paved pathways and sharing information about public transport. By incorporating these tips into your hosting routine, you can make your space attractive to a larger audience.
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