Airbnb Is Turning Off Hosts’ Cameras

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Skift Take

Today’s podcast looks at cameras in Airbnbs, Messi tourism in Saudi Arabia, and the decline of U.S. hospitality.

Good morning from Skift. It’s Tuesday, March 12. Here’s what you need to know about the business of travel today.

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Episode Notes

Airbnb announced on Monday it’s banning the use of all indoor security cameras, writes Short-Term Rental Reporter Srividya Kalyanaraman. 

The company said the change comes after it received feedback from guests, hosts and advocacy groups. Indoor cameras had been permitted in common areas of homes under certain conditions, but the cameras had to be disclosed to guests and not be in private spaces. Hosts not complying with the new policy by April 30 could see their listings or accounts removed.

Next, Saudi Arabian officials believe its latest tourism campaign featuring soccer icon Lionel Messi can help it overcome negative perceptions, writes Global Tourism Reporter Dawit Habtemariam.

Fahd Hamidaddin, CEO of the Saudi Tourism Authority, addressed the kingdom’s efforts to increase visitor numbers in an interview with Skift. Saudi Arabia recently launched a campaign titled “Go Beyond What You Think” in which Messi attempts to break down stereotypes about the country. Hamidaddin said thus far the campaign has performed better than the agency’s previous marketing efforts. 

Hamidaddin added Saudi Arabia is looking to attract 150 million visitors by 2030, up from its previous target of 100 million. 

Finally, columnist Colin Nagy addresses the decline in American hospitality that he argues is making travel less pleasant for visitors to the U.S. . 

Nagy writes that international travelers often encounter sloppiness, rudeness and ineptitude. He cited Dubai Airports CEO Paul Griffiths’ four-and-a-half hour delay at immigration at JFK Airport last year as an example of worsening hospitality in the U.S. Nagy added if the service at airports, hotels and restaurants continues to decline, international travelers would be less willing to come to the U.S.

Producer/Presenter: Jose Marmolejos

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