Airbnb announces upgrades during this “great detachment” period


The features respond to the changing way people travel due to the coronavirus pandemic.

A rental cabin in Jackson, NH, listed on Airbnb. Airbnb

Airbnb deployed more than 50 updates this week to meet the changing needs of travelers due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The changes include improvements for travelers working remotely and people with disabilities. New upgrades include: Translation Engine, Wi-Fi Speed ​​Verified, I’m (Even More) Flexible, Accessibility Review, and AirCover.

Airbnb improved communication on the platform by creating a translation engine so that hosts and guests from more than 60 countries “can interact with each other seamlessly,” according to Chris Lehane, senior vice president of Airbnb. policy and global communications at Airbnb.

“The technology is much better and the translation is much more accurate,” Lehane said, noting that its release coincides with the US eases restrictions on international travel this week.

A travel revolution is happening, Lehane said, calling it a “great detachment” in which “travel, work and life are really starting to blend together.”

Lehane experienced it himself this year when the Lawrence native who now lives in California extended his annual summer vacation by two weeks in Maine.

“I spent six weeks there and worked four of the six weeks,” Lehane said.

A third of 7,500 consumers said they would live elsewhere while working remotely more often than before after the global health crisis, according to a Airbnb poll.

Airbnb’s Wifi search filter has been used 288 million times this year, according to the company. With Wi-Fi speed verified, hosts can test their Wi-Fi in the app and post Wi-Fi strength on their listings page, Lehane said.

“It’s great for the host because it helps them get more business, and it’s great for travelers who, in particular, are considering how they’re going to work when they travel,” Lehane said.

Travelers with disabilities can now take advantage of the accessibility review, where Airbnb agents confirm listed features such as step-free entrances and wider doorways for visitors in wheelchairs.

AirCover is “top-to-bottom protection” for hosts, according to the company, and includes $1 million in liability insurance, $1 million in property damage protection, revenue loss protection, against damage to pets, protection against deep cleaning, etc. It is free for all hosts.

The company launched flexible searches in May, which allows customers to search for stays over a six-month period and has been used more than 500 million times, according to the company. Now users can search for rentals 12 months in advance.

Airbnb is seeing 50% more trips booked for 2022 than the company has seen this time of year in previous years, Lehane said.

“People plan multiple trips much further in advance than they have in the past,” he said.

Airbnb has also added four new categories of unique stays: ski in/ski out, off-grid, luxury and quirky.

“These one-of-a-kind stays have just exploded during the pandemic,” Lehane said. “Because housing itself is part of the experience people are looking for.”

Comments are closed.