Airbnb research finds guests perceived to be black have a harder time booking a stay

Airbnb says in a new report that perceived black guests are less likely to have their reservations confirmed than perceived white guests.

The vacation rental company found that customers perceived as black managed to book their stay 91.4% of the time, compared to 94.1% of customers perceived as white. Other racial groups clocked in between the two numbers.

“Airbnb is built on trust, and we will continue to innovate and design new products and initiatives that increase acceptance and combat bias,” Airbnb co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky said in a statement. communicated. “Important insights, including data generated by Project Lighthouse, will guide our work to make Airbnb a place where everyone feels welcome.”

Airbnb said it had been blocking hosts for four years from seeing a guest’s profile picture until they accepted their reservation, which the company said closed about a fifth of the gap.

The company announced a series of changes alongside the release of the data, including the launch of a written guide to inclusivity for hosts, expanding analysis of when hosts reject bookings, and making it easier to the receipt of reviews by customers.

“Airbnb paved the way for the tech industry by undertaking its civil rights audit in 2016,” said former attorney general Eric Holder, to whom Airbnb tapped advise on the development of its anti-discrimination policy, said in a statement. “In the years since, I have continued to be impressed with the company’s hard work and holistic approach to recognizing and combating discrimination.”

The company has partnered with various civil rights groups in its efforts, including the League of United Latin American Citizens and the NAACP.

“The NAACP has called on businesses to do what’s best for racial equity, and Airbnb has stepped up to provide answers,” said NAACP President Derrick Johnson.

“Airbnb is committed to walking with us and others to unpack their journey to diversity, equity, and inclusion as an organization. Over the past six years, the company has defined and maintained the model of how companies should approach this critical work: transparently, openly to the public and introspective.”

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