Airbnb announces rollout of safety product for solo travelers

With its platform becoming “increasingly integrated” with solo travelers, Airbnb says it recognizes the importance of community trust and safety which is more important than ever as travel reopens after the pandemic. According to internal Airbnb data, 26% of all nights booked in 2021 were by solo travelers, and more than 50% of nights booked for long-term stays in the first quarter of 2022 were for solo travellers.

Specifically designed to better support safe solo travel on the platform, Solo Traveler is activated as soon as the customer books a private or shared room, which then provides them with any expert guidance they may wish use to stay safe while traveling. alone.

Recently announced feature allows solo traveler to share their booking itinerary [including the address of the listing, reservation code, check-in / check-out dates] with their most trusted contacts – wherever they are in the world – with just one touch in case of an emergency.

As soon as the reservation is confirmed in the chat thread with the host, the guest will see automated prompts from Airbnb suggesting questions to ask the host about the listing and the surrounding neighborhood. The questions were developed from specific research conducted with experienced solo travelers who provided details on how they stayed safe while traveling alone.

Solo Traveler will initially only be available to English-speaking customers and will focus on solo traveler bookings in private rooms or shared spaces, but Airbnb says it plans to roll out the feature to other countries and languages ​​over the course of of the next 12 months, as well as expand it to include entire house listings.

Airbnb will continue to make its built-in Local Emergency Services feature available to all users 24/7, quickly connecting them to local emergency services even if the guest does not know the phone number. room he needs. It is currently active in 70 countries and regions around the world.

Finally, Airbnb will be able to contact someone on behalf of the traveler as users can add an emergency contact to their profile. The feature is designed to make the process faster and more efficient, and can be found in Account Settings under the Personal Information tab on the Airbnb Platform.

The product launch builds on Airbnb’s existing integrated products, including the 24-hour security line that is available to all guests to access trained security guards during active reservations.

It comes in response to a number of high-profile safety and security incidents on Airbnb listings, including fatal shootings, illegal parties, banned hidden cameras and recording devices, discrimination [disability, race, sexual orientation]scams and dangerous conditions.

Last July, Airbnb launched a “European first” Trust and Safety Alliance in the UK, a network of expert organizations that will work closely with the UK homesharing platform and provide information and advice to hosts and the Airbnb community. Founding members of the Trust and Safety Alliance include the National Fire Chief’s Council, Neighborhood Watch, Crimestoppers, Get Safe Online, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents and Race on the Agenda.

The Alliance was created to engage with Airbnb hosts on a quarterly basis and produce guides and information on a consistent basis.

Airbnb has previously produced guides for hosts in partnership with Crimestoppers on spotting suspicious signs when hosting, with the National Fire Chief’s Council on fire safety, and Get Safe Online on monitoring online fraud.

Meanwhile, a report released last October, funded by ASIS International and John Jay College in the United States, uncovered more than 500 cases of photographic evidence showing unsafe conditions in Airbnbs ranging from insect, rodent and pest infestations to mold, bodily fluids, rotting food and other health and safety issues after analyzing a dataset of 127,183 tweets containing complaints customers about Airbnb on Twitter between 2015 and 2020.

Airbnb added that it puts the safety of solo female travelers at the heart of product development, though the in-app experience is made accessible to guests regardless of gender identity.

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