It seems to me that if Airbnb desires to provide a guest cancellation experience “more like a hotel”, it should be they who manage the risk involved.
A hotel is able to spread the risk of last-minute cancellation across its various rooms. In a hotel with 100 rooms, If one room cancels, the other 99 rooms carry the night, and total revenue is minimally impacted.
For me, if one room cancels… wait, there is only one room! For me I lose 100% of the revenue for that night.
It would be far more host-friendly for Airbnb to charge a higher host fee, and then absorb the cost of any cancellations over their entire platform. This is the model that hotels use, but in this case it would be distributed across different properties/owners rather than across the rooms at a single property.
As an example: If all hosts are paying increased fees, some of those dollars could be earmarked for the “cancellation fund”. If I have a guest cancel, Airbnb uses the funds from this cancellation fund (collected across the entire Airbnb platform) to pay me the full amount for the cancelled stay.
This would accomplish Airbnb’s assumed goal of having more “guest friendly” policies, while also providing better protection for hosts. I’d call this a win-win for hosts and guests, and would gladly pay an increased fee for that “insurance”.
As stated now, the new policy in Italy is a boon for guests, and could have serious negative impact on individual hosts.
Lastly, I’m new here! We’ve been hosting for nearly a year now and I found this forum while researching a problem with lingering fragrance from a recent stay. I just stumbled on this topic, hope this comment doesn’t derail the discussion!