Airbnb’s massive overhaul emphasizes hidden gems
Airbnb is committed to enabling its employees to work from anywhere. Now the company is applying that philosophy to its current product, rolling out a massive redesign that encourages users to find hidden gems rather than searching by cities. Airbnb co-founders Nate Blecharczyk and Brian Chesky said the changes, the company’s biggest in a decade, will allow customers, especially those working from home, to find and book stays for longer periods.
Airbnb will now be completely different. Users will be able to filter homes by 56 categories, including style, location or proximity to activities like skiing, camping and golf. The filters will include boats, cabins, “amazing pools”, lakes, tropical locations and vineyards, among others.
“We’re reimagining travel in a way that’s less transactional and more experiential,” Blecharczyk, Airbnb’s chief strategy officer, told Protocol.
Blecharczyk said clients began seeking longer stays and more and more unconventional homes like boats and barns as they moved away from office work. Blecharczyk said the redesign reflects that shift: People care more about the vibe of a place when they plan to work there for an extended period of time.
“Many employers say they will adopt at least a hybrid type policy, which means that employees will continue to have the option of working from home or working from any home for that matter,” a- he declared.
Airbnb Split Stays – CDMX and Copenhagen
Nights booked for unique homes like tiny homes, barns, domes and treehouses were up 80% in the first quarter compared to 2019, the company said. Fewer people are also looking for trips to popular cities: Stays booked in Airbnb’s major cities accounted for 8% of its revenue in the first quarter, compared to 12% in the first quarter of 2019.
Changing Airbnb’s search, finding hidden gems is the default experience; not something users have to wade through listings to find.
“[People] are going to continue to have the flexibility to not just work from home, or from any home,” he said. “If people knew they could have this great week in the countryside and they saw the right option, they would go for it. It doesn’t matter if they arrive on a Friday or a Tuesday. It would start with “What is the experience?”
Airbnb is also offering a new feature called Split Stays, which will allow users to split their trips between multiple locations. For example, a user looking for campgrounds could use Split Stays to find locations in campgrounds that are close to each other.
“One of the challenges when you want a house for a longer stay, say, a month-long stay, is that house actually has to be available for that entire time,” Blecharczyk said. “Of course these houses are popular, maybe someone else is staying there. The longer you want to stay, the fewer options you will see when you search.
Airbnb AirCover – New booking and welcome message
He said Split Stays would give people who want to travel longer more options. Airbnb expects people to see 40% more listings using the feature than without.
Airbnb is also launching AirCover, a program for guests that offers reservation protection if a host cancels a stay and a 24/7 security line with “specially trained agents.” AirCover for Hosts already provides damage protection and liability insurance and is separate from the new version for Guests.
The company’s security line has always been available, but Blecharczyk said it is expanding to cover 16 different languages as Airbnb expects an increase in international travel this summer.
“There’s a lot of pent-up demand for cross-border travel,” Blecharczyk said. “As people take longer trips that involve more distance, more money, we want them to have peace of mind.”