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The Expedia Group-owned vacation rental platform known as VRBO is going to maintain reservations in Washington, DC. This is going to be done in over inauguration week despite the fact Airbnb’s stance is going to block as well as cancel bookings plus the strong backlash from the online users.
It was confirmed that Airbnb as well as HotelTonight is going to block as well as cancel the reservations in the DC metro area during Joe Biden’s inauguration which was going to be held on 20th January. This was informed by a small input from Airbnb as well as the HotelTonight host community including the local, state, as well as federal officials. Also, they revealed that is a threat related to ‘armed militias as well as known hate groups’ which are going to travel and disturb the entire event.
However, Airbnb pledged to ban the insurrectionists that are involved in any ‘violent criminal activity’ like Capital riots and will do an investigation every matter by cross-referencing everything with DC Metro Police.
VRBO as well as Expedia Group which is its parent company released statements that mentioned their stance on the DC reservations and the safety of every guest and host which involves guiding everyone to follow the rules and regulations offered by local government.
VRBO wrote that “If you mistreat, there is not going to be any space for you with us. We have the right to immediately remove anyone who is going to violate the set principles. We will encourage the hosts to their bookings at this time if they think that anyone is going to violate these set policies.”
The Expedia Group also posted a statement saying “Expedia Group is willing to partner with government officials, law enforcement, as well as community leaders because they try to secure the nation’s capital when it is time for the presidential inauguration.”
“Over the last week, we have created a crisis response team in the Expedia Group as well as introduced emergency producers that also includes holistic as well as manual review of Washington DC area bookings.”
“In addition to basic screening measures, we are evaluating new booking to assess any risk. If there will be any issues then we will take necessary action with the law enforcement.”
“We are in touch with our partner community and are telling about the safety information to the travelers. For us, safety is the biggest priority and Expedia Group does not believe in tolerating harassment, discrimination, as well as violence,” it added.
As per Expedia Group, the booking on VRBO ‘increased significantly’ from the month of May till June 2020 in comparison to 2019. It saw a resurgence when the restrictions started to lift.
Also, the traction seen was a major factor in Expedia Group trying to retire its HomeAway brand in the US. This was seen as a move to refocus as well as simplify Expedia’s vacation rental portfolio by keeping US users away from the HomeAway website as well as the app and putting their focus on the VRBO brand.
VRBO announced that it is going to exit Toronto’s short-term rental market because of its crackdown in the category of accommodations. Also, the strict rules on renting the condos, studios, etc. started on 1st January.