According to fan-created website All About Airbnb, the peer-to-peer accommodation marketplace which until recently charged a mere 3% to the hosts advertising their room or property, is now asking for five-times more in percentage for every booking.

All About Airbnb refers to a new feature as “experimental […] with quite an interesting and unexpected catch.”

The experimental fee is based on a promise by Airbnb to attract more business to the host:

“You can receive additional bookings from travellers that learn about Airbnb through Google ads. There will be a 12-15% host fee just for reservations that happen as a result of these ads. You’ll have the option to accept or decline these reservation requests as usual. Learn more.

Basically, Airbnb is asking hosts to pay more for bookings that originate through a Google Ads campaign… but wait;

This Does Not Make Any Sense

Well, Airbnb advertises on Google like all other major players. Their advertising is not specific to any property but rather targeted to a destination. Let me explain with a simple example:

Screen Shot 2015-10-17 at 10.05.37

The above is the result for a search on Google with the keyword “Holiday Apartment Sicily”. As you can see on the bottom right, Google Search displays an advert for Airbnb promoting Sicily. Not any particular property. Definitely not the property of those hosts who opted to pay the extra 12% fee to Airbnb!

What happens now is that the user will go to, shortlist their options, probably contact a couple of potential hosts and finally book their holiday accommodation.

Yes, you are right. You may be paying extra just for nothing, or rather to finance Airbnb’s Google Ads campaign with little or no direct correlation to any increase to your very own business.

Can I Opt In/Out of This?

Of course you can. Just head to Settings in your Airbnb Account and and you’ll  be able to see a “Booking From Online Ads” box. Here you may opt in or out of this “experimental” feature!