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Airbnb streamlines fees as it tilts toward biggest hosts

Airbnb is requiring most professional hosts outside North America to include all service fees in the rate presented to guests, a move that mirrors how rival platforms operate….

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(Reuters) – Airbnb is requiring most professional hosts outside North America to include all service fees in the rate presented to guests, a move that mirrors how rival platforms operate.

Airbnb will require hosts who use third-party software to manage bookings to eliminate the “service fee” paid by guests that is traditionally tacked on to the listing price. Instead hosts will pay a standard fee of 15%, up from the typical 3% they are assessed now.

Hosts interviewed by Reuters said they expect most will raise their listed prices to account for the larger host fee, making the change cost-neutral for most guests and for Airbnb. But hosts with fewer properties expressed some concerns.

The new fee structure comes as the San Francisco-based home rental platform prepares to sell shares in its initial public offering this week. Airbnb said early tests show the simplified pricing helped drive 17% more bookings.

“Following feedback from hosts we recently introduced a simplified host-only fee structure for professional hosts who connect to our API in certain countries,” said Airbnb spokesperson Christopher Nulty. “Our fee structure for individual hosts remains unchanged.”

But Airbnb declined to comment on some of the negative feedback from hosts about the change, citing a quiet period before its IPO.

The fee change has been communicated to professional hosts but not reported widely.

Airbnb began with hosts renting out air mattresses in their homes. A former Airbnb host acquisition specialist told Reuters “individual hosts are good for PR.” But hosts managing hundreds or thousands of properties drive an outsized portion of revenue. As of end-September, 10 percent of Airbnb’s hosts were professional managers, and they accounted for 28 percent of nights booked, according to Airbnb’s IPO filings.

Management software platform Uplisting’s CEO Vincent Breslin said hotels and professional managers of multiple properties have asked for the change to make it easier to list across different platforms with one sticker price.

“Having fee parity across all platforms is a benefit to all,” said Ryan Danz, CEO of Air Concierge Inc., which manages about 500 properties. “It makes a better apples-to-apples comparison for the traveler if they find the same home listed on various websites.”

But some smaller property managers are worried the change could hurt them if they can’t raise prices enough to cover the increased host fee.

Airbnb already gave itself a black eye with many hosts when it made them issue refunds for cancellations caused by the global pandemic. It now faces a class action suit and hundreds of arbitration cases stemming from that.

Johnny Buckingham, who manages nine listings on Airbnb across the U.S., said he would not want to raise his listing price to cover the increased host fee and believed Airbnb was discouraging hosts from using software to cross-list on other platforms.

“They’ve made their message clear. Stick exclusively with us or pay us 5x as much,” he said.

Sarah DuPre, sales director at AirDNA, an analytics firm specializing in vacation rentals, said that the will have a minimal impact on host retention but could impact Airbnb’s “ability to be seen as the most economical source of accommodation.”

Rowan Clifford, who helps Airbnb hosts improve visibility of their listings and is also a host, predicted in a blog post two years ago that host fees would go up as hosts become reliant on Airbnb. He expects individual hosts will eventually also see a fee hike and said smaller hosts could face price competition from professionally managed listings that don’t raise prices to cover the increased host fee. “They don’t need us as much anymore, basically.”

Reporting By Jane Lanhee Lee and Krystal Hu; Editing by Greg Mitchell and Chizu Nomiyama

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Source: https://www.reuters.com/article/airbnb-ipo-fees/airbnbstreamlines-feesas-it-tilts-toward-biggest-hosts-idUSL1N2I62IU

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Reuters

Disneyland Paris to re-open on June 17

Disneyland Paris (DIS.N) said on Monday that it would re-open on June 17, as French bars, restaurants and tourism sites gradually resume their operations after having been shut due to COVID-19 sanitary restrictions.

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The logo of Disneyland Paris is seen in Marne-la-Vallee, near Paris, as the theme park prepares to reopen its doors to the public following the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in France, July 9, 2020. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

Disneyland Paris (DIS.N) said on Monday that it would re-open on June 17, as French bars, restaurants and tourism sites gradually resume their operations after having been shut due to COVID-19 sanitary restrictions.

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Source: https://www.reuters.com/lifestyle/disneyland-paris-re-open-june-17-2021-05-17/

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Reuters

Chip shortage to hit about 100,000 Mazda vehicles in 2021

Mazda Motor Corp (7261.T) said on Friday it expects a semiconductor crunch to affect around 100,000 of the Japanese automaker’s vehicles globally during the fiscal year.

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The logo of Mazda is pictured at the LA Auto Show in Los Angeles, California, U.S., November 20, 2019. REUTERS/Andrew Cullen

Mazda Motor Corp (7261.T) said on Friday it expects a semiconductor crunch to affect around 100,000 of the Japanese automaker’s vehicles globally during the fiscal year.

However, Mazda will fully leverage available inventory to minimize the hit to about 70,000 wholesale units, it said in a statement.

The worldwide shift to remote work and learning during the pandemic had boosted demand for laptops and other gadgets, exacerbating a global chip shortage.

The shortfall will cost automakers $110 billion in lost revenues this year, up from a prior estimate of $61 billion, consulting firm AlixPartners said, forecasting the crisis will hit the production of 3.9 million vehicles. read more

Automobiles depend on chips for everything from computer management of engines for better fuel economy to driver-assistance features such as emergency braking.

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

The worldwide shift to remote work and learning during the pandemic had boosted demand for laptops and other gadgets, exacerbating a global chip shortage.

Source: https://www.reuters.com/business/autos-transportation/chip-shortage-hit-about-100000-mazda-vehicles-2021-2021-05-14/

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Reuters

England to ease COVID restrictions further on May 17

England will press ahead with plans to ease COVID-19 restrictions further on May 17, including allowing people to meet indoors, thanks to favourable data on infections and vaccines, the government said on Sunday.

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Visitors to Greenwich Park sit and look towards Canary Wharf financial district as lockdown restrictions are eased amidst the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in London, Britain, April 25, 2021. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

England will press ahead with plans to ease COVID-19 restrictions further on May 17, including allowing people to meet indoors, thanks to favourable data on infections and vaccines, the government said on Sunday.

The country is in the process of gradually lifting its latest lockdown over a period of months, in line with a four-step plan unveiled in February.

Under Step 3 of the plan, as outlined when it was first announced, people will be allowed to meet up indoors for the first time in months, in groups of up to six people or two full households together.

Pubs, cafes and restaurants will be able to host customers indoors, also for the first time in months and subject to certain rules. Other indoor entertainment, hospitality and sports venues will also be able to resume activity.

Johnson’s Downing Street office said the latest data on COVID vaccinations, on infections, hospitalisations and deaths, and on the risk posed by new variants had been taken into account in deciding to move forward with Step 3.

“The data reflects what we already knew – we are not going to let this virus beat us,” Johnson said, according to a Downing Street statement.

“The roadmap remains on track, our successful vaccination programme continues – more than two thirds of adults in the UK have now had the first vaccine – and we can now look forward to unlocking cautiously but irreversibly.”

Johnson was due to provide further details at a news conference on Monday.

Semi-autonomous administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have their own separate timetables for easing COVID restrictions.

The United Kingdom has lost more than 127,000 people to COVID-19. It experienced a devastating second wave that peaked in late January, but since then the numbers of new cases and deaths have plummeted. read more

On Sunday, a total of 1,770 new cases and two new deaths were recorded across the United Kingdom. That contrasts with the situation during the second wave, when the daily number of new cases peaked at over 80,000 while the daily death toll was above 1,300 on the worst day.

There are also expected to be significant changes for the arts and events sectors under Step 3, with both indoor and outdoor venues allowed to host far greater numbers of people than for many months.

The government had already confirmed last week that international travel would be allowed to resume on May 17, although still with severe restrictions in place except for a handful of countries. read more

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Source: https://www.reuters.com/world/uk/england-ease-covid-restrictions-further-may-17-2021-05-09/

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