Airbnb Deal on Emergency Accommodation
30 October 2014 at 10:25 am
Victoria is to partner with international online booking company Airbnb to provide free or low cost short-term accommodation for people displaced by major emergencies including fire and flood.
Minister for Police and Emergency Services and Bushfire Response Kim Wells said the Airbnb Disaster Response Service agreement, which will facilitate free or low cost accommodation for people displaced by emergencies with registered hosts, was the first formal agreement of its kind to be signed outside of America.
“Victoria is leading the country by providing this convenient, popular and secure service, which will bolster short-term accommodation arrangements for those people who require assistance in times of emergency.
“Victorians have a great tradition of offering help to others in times of need, and this is an innovative way of allowing Airbnb’s more than 4,000 registered hosts and other community members who have holiday houses or available rooms, to offer temporary accommodation."
Wells said the agreement between Emergency Management Victoria and Airbnb will mean:
- Airbnb will identify registered hosts who have committed to opening their doors to displaced persons and emergency services personnel when an emergency occurs and accommodation options are required;
- Airbnb technology will notify hosts and guests about significant emergencies and that the Airbnb Disaster Response Service is available;
- Hosts will be provided with emergency preparedness educational materials and have access to community education programs; and
- The platform will be available to people not currently registered, but who want to offer accommodation during emergencies.
“This agreement is a great example of community-based emergency preparedness, and highlights Victoria’s support of innovative thinking.”
Wells said a similar agreement existed between Airbnb and the American cities of Portland and San Francisco.
Airbnb is a global marketplace that matches people listing available short-term accommodation with travellers, allowing them to book accommodation online and via mobile phone.