The huge house leasing company 'Airbnb' has introduced restrictions on bookings for the under 25’s in Spain, France and the UK. The move comes following the COVID Summer of 2020 celebrations that have seen the usual post-high school and university graduation ceremonies made impossible due to various restrictions.
In place of a week at the beach, in Aragón usually Salou, young people have been swarming to villages and other remote places, the consequences of which have been a spate of complaints from locals and homeowners who are not used to receiving large groups of young people. Recently a private party of 100 people was broken up by police in Jávea, Alicante, with charges brought as the gathering broke the local restrictions limiting gatherings to only 10 people. With limited nightlife, restrictions on the use of public spaces and movement, private parties have become an increasingly popular alternative.
Whole room reservations made by some under 25s near their place of residence are restricted, following similar pilot policies in the United States and Canada, which have reduced unauthorised parties, in order to "protect local communities.”
In the UK the move is being challenged under breach of the Equality Act 2010 which states that “age is a protected characteristic that cannot be discriminated against.”
In 2019 Airbnb put in place a global ban on any unauthorised parties or events and temporarily disabled the ‘suitable for events’ search filter.
In addition, the company has launched a ‘safe summer’ campaign for hosts and guests in Spain with the aim to promote “safe and respectful travel in the midst of a busy summer season.” Airbnb’s Director of Public Policy, Patrick Robinson has promoted enjoying the summer safely and reminds users that the vast majority of guests are responsible but insists they will “obstruct and remove anyone who intends to behave irresponsibly.”
A page relating the horror stories of both hosts and guests has been set up to share the unusually negative experiences of the minority of users.