“Airbnb feels confident that their strict approach to cancelling the reservations of those who do not comply with regulation will return a positive outcome in the long-run”
Almost a month on troubles have continued, with it becoming increasingly apparent that a percentage of Airbnb hosts in Japan have resorted to fake registration numbers in a bid to circumnavigate the new policies. Whilst this has unnerved the government who, like many world leaders, remain uncertain about the long-term implications of a sharing economy, Airbnb feels confident that their strict approach to cancelling the reservations of those who do not comply with the regulation will return a positive outcome in the long-run.
Airbnb has been vocal in its support of the policy changes, stating ‘we believe the new rules will ultimately be a positive change for Airbnb and our Japan community.’ Given the notable increase in tourism in Japan, this is somewhat unsurprising.
Their approach to the matter demonstrates their vision for the potential of Japan as a tourist destination – particularly in the run-up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The most popular country in the Asia-Pacific region, it offers abundant business potential, and as such navigating tricky policy is a must.
Expressing their commitment to ‘helping guests deal with this extraordinary disruption,’ their approach is pragmatic and generous. In addition to setting up a $10 million fund to help those who have incurred additional charges, Airbnb has also promised full refunds and coupons for travellers, help to find an alternative place to stay, and 24/7 telephone and email support.
Despite short-term teething problems, both Japanese officials and Airbnb see these policy changes as an opportunity to sustain the tourism boom witnessed over recent years. The evolution of this relationship is one to watch.