Airbnb has quietly launched a series of articles about hosts of short-term apartment rentals in Israel. On its official website, the apartment rental giant published three articles on Friday, that are titled “Get to know our Host community in Israel.” The articles were also shared on Airbnb's social media platforms.
One of the articles highlights a woman named Anat who rents out her apartment in the city of Haifa. “The fact that she is a natural hostess who exudes a motherly warmth and loves finding out about people’s stories has made her hosting journey an easy success,” the article on the Airbnb site said. “I have a deep respect for those that travel,” Anat is quoted saying.
“I try to make every guest feel at home,” she said to Airbnb. “If I get a booking from a family with small children, I will make sure to have some candy for the little ones. If my guest brings a dog, I will put out a dog bowl.”
What the content writers of Airbnb were excited about is the fact that every guest receives a package of homemade cookies.
Why is Airbnb releasing these articles on Israeli hosts?
In 2018, Airbnb decided to remove all listings in Jewish settlements in the West Bank.
Sources in the Israeli tourism industry have explained that Airbnb was interested in quietly getting back to business as usual in Israel. In addition, the company suffered huge damage to its image with Israelis and Jews worldwide.
This series of articles doesn’t mention the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and is very positive. It showcases the apartments of three Israeli women in Ashkelon, Ramat Gan and Haifa.
Liat from Ramat Gan said in an interview with her that she likes to introduce the people who stay at her apartment to her local neighborhood. “I walk with [my dog] Louie every day and invite my guests to join me,” she is quoted saying. “Sometimes we go to the amazing Yarkon Park, which is a 20-minute walk. I also take them to the local bakery called ‘The Family’ and introduce them to Haachim hummus as well as the local home grill restaurant.” Airbnb also highlighted the delicious Israeli Shakshuka dish that Liat cooks with her guests on Saturday mornings.
The third article focuses on Tal, a mother from Ashkelon who rents out a private room in her apartment in the Barnea neighborhood. “The income from hosting helps Tal, who quit her government job in the middle of the pandemic, to pursue some of her more artistic endeavors,” the Airbnb site stated. Tal lives with her nine-year-old son and they both offer international tourists to get to know this unique southern Israeli city.