Airbnb will stop asking travelers where they want to go in order to combat overtourism to popular destinations

Airbnb removes the destination search box and replaces it with vacation “categories” such as surf, design and national parks in a bid to revolutionize the way we book vacations.

As part of a massive app update dubbed ‘2022 Summer Release’, the world’s largest homestay booking site will use machine learning technology to sort accommodations listed on its site Web in categories.

The company hopes the all-new design will help customers discover places they “wouldn’t have been able to seek out”, helping to spread travelers more widely and reduce overtourism in the world’s most popular destinations. world.

People will still be able to find vacations by destination and specific dates, but that will no longer be the default search method.

Airbnb faced critical for helping to increase overtourism in cities like Barcelona, ​​landlords are converting homes into vacation rentals, leading to huge rent increases and housing shortages for locals.

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The online marketplace, whose total turnover reached £4billion in 2021, hopes the app updates will help appease national and local governments who have moved to clamp down on vacation rentals in recent years.

Airbnb is also introducing “Split Stays,” a new feature that splits trips between two different homes, which the company says will allow customers to find an average of 40% more listings for longer stays.

Finally, the company is working to build consumer confidence in its brand with comprehensive holiday cover should something go wrong during a stay.

The “Aircover” promise includes the offer of similar or better accommodation or a refund if your rental is canceled within 30 days of your arrival or if you cannot check in the same day, a guarantee of obtaining this that you have booked, and a 24-hour security line.

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