Airbnb unveils new way to book longer stays ahead of summer travel season

New features include the ability to more easily split trips between two homes when options for longer stays are limited and a search tool that surfaces properties through specific categories, as if the home offers “creative spaces”. , a chef’s kitchen or a swimming pool. The features were unveiled at a key company event ahead of the all-important summer travel season.

“The way people travel has changed forever,” Airbnb co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky said in a statement ahead of the event. Chesky touted the new features as “the biggest change to Airbnb in a decade.”

The updates come as Airbnb recently reported that business was booming again after being hampered by the pandemic hit to the travel industry. In its latest earnings report, Airbnb released quarterly results revenues of $1.5 billion, up 70% over the same period last year.

The company said nearly half of nights booked on Airbnb in the past three months were for trips of a week or more. Chesky suggested that the new Split Stays feature, which allows customers to book back-to-back stays at multiple homes in the same area, is intended to meet this shift in demand.

With this option, which will automatically appear in search results, Airbnb users will typically see around 40% more listings when searching for longer stays, according to the company.

Airbnb’s new way to search, dubbed Airbnb Categories, allows users to search for places to stay using 56 categories based on a home’s style – including options for tiny homes and yurts – as well as the style of a home. location and proximity to a travel activity. Chesky said this new way to search comes after people have become “more flexible about where they live and work,” a trend Airbnb has also embraced by allowing its employees to “live and work n ‘anywhere’.

The company also announced enhanced travel protections for customers, which will be included free with every booking. Dubbed AirCover, the protections offer users accommodations or similar refunds if their reservation was cancelled, they couldn’t check into a house or the listing was not as advertised. Additionally, the company said guests will have access to a 24-hour security line if they ever feel unsafe during their stay.

Wednesday’s updates come after the company previously announced ‘strict anti-party measures’ ahead of summer vacation, marking its latest attempt to crack down on people seeking to use its platform to host unregistered ragers. authorized. Chesky first announced the company’s ban on “party homes” in 2019, after five people were shot and killed during a Halloween party at an Airbnb rental home in Orinda, California. .

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