Interested in hosting or traveling through Airbnb? By all means, read below, but you can always sign up to host your space on Airbnb or create a guest profile and start searching for your next travel adventure.

Our beginning. Airbnb started in 2008 with two designers who needed rent money and had space to share, and three travelers looking for affordable lodging. Today, more than 3 million active Airbnb listings are available across 191 countries, including 65,000 cities and countries.* Hosts and guests opt to create Airbnb accounts so they can list and book unique accommodations anywhere in the world.

Our platform. Since our founding in 2008, there have been more than 100 million guest arrivals at Airbnb listings. We maintain a smart messaging system so hosts and guests can communicate and plan with certainty, provide helplines for guests and locally based staff for follow-up, and manage a secure platform to collect and transfer every payment.

Our standards and procedures. Every community has them, and Airbnb’s is no different. Our standards and procedures are designed to help keep our community safe and help our users travel and host with more confidence. Among them:

  • Verified ID: We maximize transparency by allowing hosts to require that guests provide a government ID, and we created a program called Verified ID, which connects a person’s offline identification (e.g., driver’s license or passport) with another online profile to their Airbnb account, such as their Facebook or LinkedIn profile.
  • Profiles and reviews: Guests and hosts upload thorough, confirmed reviews to provide timely feedback on each stay and aid the decision-making of future guests and hosts.
  • Assistance and action: In the unusual event that a problem occurs, we are there. If a guest or a host ever has an issue, our 250-person global Trust and Safety team is on call 24/7 to help. We offer Host Protection Insurance and a $1 Million Host Guarantee to help protect eligible hosts and their property. Our stronger, more detailed nondiscrimination policy, including voluntary antibias training for hosts and a Community Commitment to which all Airbnb users must agree, is an example of these ongoing efforts.

Secure payments. Guests pay through Airbnb when they book a listing. Hosts receive payment through Airbnb 24 hours after a guest checks in. With all the transactions taken care of, all our users have to do is say “hello.”

Hosting on their own terms. Hosts set their own rates and keep all but a small percentage of the price guests pay to share their space. Once signed up, hosts gain access to reference tools to help them set prices based on travel trends and similar listings. We also urge hosts to learn about local laws, such as registration requirements or limits on length of stays, before making a listing available on Airbnb.

Respecting property. Despite our growth, property damage to Airbnb listings remains extremely rare. Of 40+ million guest arrivals worldwide in 2015, only 1,010 cases of significant property damage were reported to us (defined as claims that are reimbursed via our Host Guarantee for more than $1,000), for a ratio of approximately 1 in 41,000 guest arrivals resulting in significant property damage or 0.002 percent of the time.

Respecting privacy. At Airbnb, our highest priority is keeping our community safe. This means working with law enforcement as appropriate. It also means making every effort to protect the privacy and personal information of our users so they can have confidence in that security.

Giving back. Our hosts regularly humble us with meaningful new ways to welcome others — but most of all by opening their homes for free to travelers needing emergency lodging because of undue hardship or disasters. From Hurricane Matthew and Superstorm Sandy to wildfires in Alberta, Canada and the Kumamoto earthquakes in Japan, to flooding in France and Louisiana, Airbnb hosts have taken in survivors, their relatives, and relief workers who are traveling for the worst reasons and shouldn’t have to worry about bookings or payment. Airbnb alerts our local hosts to a need and waives all fees.

*Airbnb figures as of February 2017.