International Journal of Tourism, Travel and Hospitality Law 2023

LIABILITY OF ONLINE PLATFORMS IN TOURISM SECTOR d) The terms of the supplier-customer contract are essentially determined by the platform operator; e) The price to be paid by the customer is set by the platform operator; f) The marketing is focused on the platform operator and not on the suppliers; or g) The platform operator promises to monitor the conduct of suppliers and to enforce compliance with its standards beyond what is required by law. The actual decisions on secondary liability have been reflected in the business practice of online platforms in tourism. In 2021, Airbnb introduced its insurance product, AirCover, for hosts. As stated, „it was meant to inspire even more individuals to join the platform as hosts and list their property, guaranteeing coverage of any damage or issues. For example, many Airbnb hosts were reluctant to allow pets to stay at their listings despite the tremendous increase in pet ownership since the pandemic. AirCover solved for that.“ This year Airbnb added AirCover for guests. Guests should be protected against host cancellations, check-in issues, and will have access to a 24/7 Safety Line. Moreover, Airbnb is offering a “Get-What-You-Booked” guarantee. If a listing isn’t as it was advertised, Airbnb will give guests a refund or find them a listing of the same or better quality for their trip.36 This service for users of platform may cover problems if the platform’s operator secondary liability was disputable. In cases of non- performance at all, defective or delayed performance of host, or where damages due to non- performance or damages to listed property have been incurred to the guest, claims of users may be remedied by the insurance. Is this only act of social responsibility of Airbnb taking in the regard the fact that in case Airbnb Ireland the operator of online platform has benefited from liability exemption of the safe harbour? Not only. Insurance attracts users of platform on both sides of two sided market. And moreover, the terms and conditions for intermediation services provided by Airbnb are developing, the nature of the service develops and the ambiguos and unclear boundary between pure ‘information society service’ and services of providers on platform may result in different decisions and outcomes of national courts proceedings on the 36 Crook, 2022.