Breaking News

Breaking news: Madeleine McCann disappearance

Pirate FM News 3 minute read

Tourism boss welcomes change to holiday bookings

Tourism boss welcomes change to holiday bookings

Published by Sarah Yeoman at 1:27pm 9th April 2020.

Written by Richard Whitehouse, Local Democracy Reporter

The head of Visit Cornwall has welcomed a decision by Airbnb to stop bookings being taken but said the action should have been taken weeks ago.

Malcolm Bell was furious last week at online booking platforms like Airbnb which were still taking bookings despite government guidelines banning all non-essential travel and hotels and other accommodation being forced to close.

Today Airbnb UK said that it would no longer allow bookings to be made during the lockdown period.

Mr Bell said: “It is better late than never but really it is too bloody late. They don’t get any credit from me as we have been trying to get them to do this for more than two weeks.”

He added: “This is a worldwide pandemic and they are an international company – they should have done this a long time ago.”

“We have heard from policymakers, and local residents who are worried about incoming visitors and the impact on the health of your communities. The vast majority of hosts and guests on Airbnb are adhering to the Government’s rules to contain the spread of COVID-19. But in these difficult times, we recognise our responsibility is to do all we can to prioritise the safety of all. This principle guides these further steps we are taking today.

“From today, it will not be possible to book a stay in the United Kingdom that starts on or before April 18, 2020, in line with government regulations. We will continue to review these measures after that date.”

Statement published by Airbnb UK

The company has also said that anyone who made a booking before March 14 for a stay between March 14 and May 31 will be able to claim a full refund through the firm’s cancellation policy.

A new scheme set up by the company – Frontline Stays – providing free accommodation for NHS staff and medical workers will not be affected. The company said that 12,000 hosts in the UK had offered their properties for use in the programme.

Airbnb had also been criticised by the tourism minister Nigel Huddleston who accused the company of “irresponsible and dangerous behaviour” by allowing accommodation to be advertised as “covid-19 retreats”.

The company addressed this in the statement saying: “There is no place on Airbnb for listing titles that could be interpreted as exploiting the pandemic, such as marketing around escaping COVID-19. As such, we are prohibiting listing titles that reference ‘COVID’, ‘coronavirus’ or ‘quarantine’ moving forward. This guidance has been communicated to hosts, and the majority have already made corrections.

“We want to do our part to keep everyone safe.”

Contact Us

If you would like to submit a query or provide more information on this story please get in touch below.

Please wait...
  • Up to 3 JPG or PNG images, 2MB max size
  • We will always endeavour to credit you when we publish your pictures.
  • By uploading you are agreeing to this non-exclusive reuse, royalty-free, across all Pirate FM platforms, which extends to our partner broadcasters.
  • You retain copyright to all images.
  • If you would like to send us a video, please upload to YouTube or similar and paste the video URL into the message above.
Email Icon

Sign up for exclusive news, competitions and offers.
Proper Local News updates from Pirate FM

Suggested articles

Cornwall health bosses fears over NHS funding

Cornwall News: Anxiety whether hospitals can cut backlog of treatment

Coronavirus: Summer holidays back on? Quarantine-free air bridges could be in place 'by end of June'

National News: Air bridges between Britain and some countries with low infection rates could be in place by the end of the month enabling people to travel without having to spend two weeks self-isolating on their return.

Newer articles

Police hunt for 32-year-old man with links across Cornwall

Cornwall News: The force are appealing for help to track down Karanie who is thought to be in West Cornwall

Cornwall receives just 40% of requested PPE

Cornwall News: The Duchy is waiting for the further 60% required

Older articles

Schools and colleges across Cornwall make visors

Cornwall News: They are being given to frontline NHS workers

Number of coronavirus patients in Cornwall is 'lower than expected'

Cornwall News: Treliske says five people are currently in intensive care

Most read

Cornwall's police issue latest public warning to would be holiday makers

Cornwall News: See point 1.15 which states: “You are not permitted to stay overnight away from the place where you are living for a holiday or similar purpose.”

Man dies at Portreath beach

Cornwall News: He passed away despite attempts to save him

Pirate Extra Pirate 70s Escape LoveCornwall