Airbnb Cancels all Japan bookings for June

I am not sure Ghanaians visit Japan very often, but ah well. Who knows? Not to fault or downgrade the very many tourist options and of course business opportunities in the beautiful Asian country, word on the streets is, these days, Africans go to just about anywhere in the world… except Africa. As long as you have found a way out of the continent, you have been abroad.

So if you have got plans to be in Japan this month, here is hoping you have not made a booking with Airbnb. If that is the case, you may have to find alternative accommodation.

The online home-sharing giant has had to cancel thousands of reservations after Japan’s government put in place a new law around home-sharing, reports BBC.

The law regulates Airbnb’s most popular destination market in the Asia Pacific region. Whoa!!!

Airbnb said changes to the guidance around its implementation meant reservations would now be affected.

Under the new law, hosts are required to register their listing and display their licence number by 15th June to remain active. BBC reports that on the 1st of June, Japanese government said that any host without a licence number had to cancel upcoming reservations that were booked before 15th June.

Airbnb said it would therefore cancel any reservation made by a guest arriving between 15th and 19th  June at a listing in Japan that does not currently have a licence.

We know this stinks – and that’s an understatement;” “Japan is an incredible country to visit and we want to help our guests deal with this extraordinary disruption.” Said Airbnb

Airbnb also said it had set up a $10m fund to help those incurring any additional expenses related to having to make alternative travel plans because of cancellations.

The booking issue in Japan is the latest hiccup that Airbnb has had to face in Asia, one of its fastest growing markets.

Earlier this year, the firm said it would have to start sharing information about its customers who book accommodation in China with the government. Data shared with the authorities will now include passport details and the dates of bookings.

Hosts listing accommodation in China will also have their details passed on once they start accepting bookings.

The online home-sharing giant said the move meant it was now complying with local laws and regulations, “like all businesses operating in China”.

Airbnb has said it is aiming to have one billion annual guests worldwide by 2028.

The firm is one of Silicon Valley’s most valuable companies and is already worth an estimated $30bn.