Hosting on Airbnb means opening your space to people worldwide, 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, Airbnb is 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.
Here is a compiled insights 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 that you welcome people of all backgrounds, you can help guests from historically marginalised communities feel comfortable and encouraged to book your place.
Here are some things you can do to signal that you’re an inclusive Host:
- In the first few sentences of your listing description, make it clear that you welcome people of all backgrounds.
- Accurately describe your property’s accessibility features and update your photos.
- 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 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 that you’re willing to host anyone who fits your booking criteria.
- Offer pre-approvals and encouragement to guests who contact you before booking. 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?
Tip: Share more about yourself and your interests in your profile and your listing description to give your guests an opportunity to connect. You can adopt the inclusive statements that other Hosts use in their listings.
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.
Tip: Try sending a message asking your guests, “What can I do to ensure you have a comfortable stay?” If you need inspiration, take cues from other Hosts’ messages to guests. Here are two examples:
Simera, a Super Host who has hosted 3000+ guests says, “So whenever I get a chance to host larger families I help them plan their sightseeing and shopping by sending them to the right markets / stores etc, with the nuclear families I make sure the adults get their time by creating activities for the kids to keep them busy which they highly appreciate. The solo travellers are a lot more open to spending their time with you and learn from you so I make sure i personally take them out and show them around, involve them in most activities around my friends.“
After check-in: Ensuring guests are comfortable
Here are some pointers on how to make guests feel more welcomed:
- 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.
Tip: Include any important info about your space in your house rules so guests can access it digitally.
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. 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?” Doing that will make it easier for your guests to open your door in real life and have a great experience staying at your place.
Remember that you’re not on your own when it comes to hosting. Airbnb has plenty of support available for Hosts. You can participate in Ask Me Anything sessions on SHEROES to learn more and get your needed help.
The Hosts featured in this article are not Airbnb employees, nor do they work under the direction of Airbnb. As Host Creators, they partnered with Airbnb to share their thoughts and create this video. Any opinions, anecdotal information or testimonial statements made are truthful, their own and are not official statements of Airbnb.
Airbnb and SHEROES are partnering to help women in India to become Hosts on Airbnb, and to broaden their lives through travel.
The SHEROES platform provides a safe online space for women to discuss the opportunities that hosting and travelling on Airbnb can bring, and to build a thriving community of #TakeCharge entrepreneurs.
About the author:
Vandana Das is a full-time writer and blogger. She also manages content for the SHEROES platform.