Short term rental platform Airbnb is cancelling all bookings in the Washington, D.C. metro area during Inauguration week, the company announced on Wednesday. The company added it is stopping any new reservations from being made during that time.
The move comes after Airbnb initially ramped up its efforts last week to identify members of hate groups making bookings in the lead up to the Inauguration.
“Today, in response to various local, state and federal officials asking people not to travel to Washington, D.C., we are announcing that Airbnb will cancel reservations in the Washington, D.C. metro area during the Inauguration week. Additionally, we will prevent any new reservations in the Washington, D.C. area from being booked during that time by blocking such reservations,” the company’s announcement read.
Airbnb added that guests whose reservations are canceled will be refunded and that Airbnb will reimburse hosts the amount they would have earned from the booking. Hoteltonight, which Airbnb acquired in 2019, is also canceling reservations, the announcement added.
Airbnb and other companies’ actions come in the wake of a violent mob of Trump-supporters storming the Capitol with the intent of stopping the certification of Joe Biden’s election win. As military and law enforcement ramp up security efforts in Washington, D.C. in anticipation of potential violence during the Inauguration, Airbnb started reviewing all D.C.-area bookings for hate group members. In Wednesday’s announcement, the company added that it had banned people linked to the January 6 violence.
“Airbnb’s work continues to be informed by inputs from our local host community as well as Washington, D.C. officials, Metro Police and Members of Congress throughout this week. In particular, Mayor Bowser, Governor Hogan and Governor Northam have been clear that visitors should not travel to the D.C. Metro area for the Inauguration. Additionally, we are aware of reports emerging yesterday afternoon regarding armed militias and known hate groups that are attempting to travel and disrupt the Inauguration,” the company added.
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