New research shows Indians set to embark on a revolution in how they live, travel and work Airbnb announced 50+ upgrades and innovations across its entire service
- Merging leisure and work travel emerges as a key trend with 73 percent of respondents now looking at business trips as avenues to work remotely in new destinations
- Across India, 44 percent travelers would prefer to rent their home and travel either full time or part time sharing type accommodation formats
- 48 percent of Indians say travel is a way of life that they integrate into their lifestyles
- AirCover, Translation Engine, and Accessibility Review are some of the few updates launched to improve the experience for guests and Hosts as the world undergoes a travel revolution
The world is undergoing a revolution in how we live, travel and work. Technologies like Zoom make it possible to work from home. Airbnb is making it possible to work from any home. This newfound flexibility is bringing about a revolution in how we travel. Millions of people can now take more frequent trips, longer trips, travel to more locations, and even live anywhere on Airbnb.
As travel restrictions in India loosen, new research commissioned by Airbnb in India* demonstrates a shift towards an increased demand for flexible travel, nearby stays, and longer trips that allow guests to combine work and leisure – and ultimately, to live anywhere.
To support Hosts and Guests through these changes, Airbnb has also unveiled 50+ upgrades and innovations across the platform’s entire service to support this travel revolution.
“For Airbnb, 2021 has been a year of relentless innovation to refine our core service,” said Brian Chesky, CEO and Co-Founder of Airbnb. “This year we’ve delivered more than 150 upgrades and innovations. Our design-driven approach means that we’re constantly improving our service to adapt to this changing world. For the first time ever, millions of people can now travel anytime, anywhere, for any length, and even live anywhere on Airbnb. This is a travel revolution.”
A travel revolution**
A revolution is changing how we live and work, bringing about a revolution in how we travel. Bleisure travel is becoming more and more accessible for Indians as work becomes increasingly flexible. Airbnb is making it possible to work from any home—and ultimately, to live anywhere.
- An overwhelming 73 percent of Indian travelers are looking at an expanded definition of ‘business travel’ – from traveling for business, to travelling for leisure while working remotely
- 87 percent of Indians are now planning to work while travelling/living elsewhere.
- 48 percent of Indian travelers see travel as an integrated part of their life.
Indian travelers are looking at hosting more than before
Indians are also embracing hosting as a means of generating income and helping to funnel much needed tourism earnings into their local communities.
- Across India, 44 percent of travelers would prefer to rent their home and travel either full time or part time sharing type accommodation formats.
- From March 2020 to September 2021, new Airbnb Hosts in India collectively earned almost INR 40 crores from welcoming guests on Airbnb***.
Flexibility is the key now more than ever
- More than ever before, Indian travelers (37 percent of Indians) now look for flexibility in when, how, and where they travel.
- This trend is significant across generations and more evident in Baby Boomers at 57 percent followed by Gen X and Millennials at 48 percent and 41 percent respectively.
Near is the new far
A trend prevalent since the beginning of the pandemic, travel within 300 KMs of home continues to drive demand for Indian travelers.
- 42 percent of respondents to the YouGov survey said that they would continue to look at nearby stays.
- Moreover, 37 percent of travelers continue to look at lesser-known destinations within India.
- Baby boomers, at 47 percent, are more likely than Gen Z, at 33 percent to explore lesser known destinations across India.
50+ upgrades and innovations across our entire service
In May, we introduced the Airbnb 2021 Release, with over 100 upgrades to improve every aspect of the Airbnb service. Today, we are introducing an additional 50+ upgrades that make it easier to host and support the changing needs of travelers, including:
- AirCover – Top-to-bottom protection. Free for every Host. Only on Airbnb.
- Translation Engine – The most advanced translation technology ever offered to our community.
- Accessibility Review – Every accessibility feature is reviewed for 100% accuracy.
- I’m (even more) Flexible – Search for more unique homes up to 12 months in advance.
- Verified Wifi – Our new speed test tool verifies the speed of the wifi in a listing.
- Smarter Trips Tab – A redesigned Trips tab with all your must-have travel details.
- Ask a Superhost Expansion – Connects new Hosts to a Superhost in their area for 1:1 help.
…and 46 more upgrades.
More guests than ever before are choosing to stay in an Airbnb, which is leading to more people wanting to host to take advantage of this growing opportunity. To offer even more reassurance to our existing four million Hosts, and make it even easier for new Hosts to take that first big step, today we are introducing AirCover.
Only Airbnb gives you AirCover, which provides top-to-bottom protection for every Airbnb Host with US $1 million in damage protection and US $1 million in liability coverage. AirCover also includes income loss protection, pet damage protection, deep cleaning protection, and more.
Airbnb pioneered Host protection a decade ago with the industry-first Host Guarantee. After ten years of learning from our Hosts, we’ve reimagined the program, expanding protections and creating faster payouts.
AirCover is always included and always free for all new and existing Hosts. With AirCover, Hosts receive:
US $1M damage protection
US $1M liability insurance
Income loss protection
Pet damage protection
Deep cleaning protection
14-day filing window
Faster track for Superhosts
As international travel returns, Airbnb’s new Translation Engine will provide a seamless experience for our Hosts and guests in over 60 languages. Translation Engine removes the need for click to translate buttons by automatically translating listing descriptions and reviews. Based on results from a study across our top ten languages we commissioned by a top machine translation evaluation company, Translation Engine improves the quality of more than 99% of Airbnb listings. Translation Engine uses millions of Airbnb data points to improve translations, so it will get even smarter over time as it learns from new content that’s submitted.
We’ve developed an industry-leading approach to review the accuracy of features that make Airbnb homes more accessible for our disability community. Hosts simply submit photos of their accessibility features, which are then manually reviewed by a specialized team of Airbnb agents. To date, Airbnb agents have reviewed and confirmed the accuracy of 100,000 accessibility features in 25,000 homes around the world.
Fast and reliable wifi is more critical than ever before. In fact, this year guests on Airbnb have used the wifi filter more than 288 million times. Hosts can test their listing’s internet connection from the Airbnb app and have their wifi speed verified. With this upgrade, you can be confident that you won’t miss a Zoom or a favorite streaming show from your Airbnb.
I’m (even more) Flexible
Earlier this year, we introduced I’m Flexible, a whole new way to search on Airbnb when you are flexible about where or when you are traveling. Since then, guests have used I’m Flexible more than 500 million times. Due to the popularity of this feature, today we are making it even more flexible by expanding the date range you can search to 12 months out (from six). We are also expanding I’m Flexible to include four new categories of unique stays: off the grid, ski-in/ski-out, luxe, and offbeat homes.
Smarter Trips Tab
We’ve redesigned the Trips tab to house all your must-have travel info in one convenient place. The smarter, more intuitive tab now features a handy countdown to your arrival, check-in details, current and upcoming reservations, and personalized Experiences suggestions. Spend less time planning, and more time enjoying the destination.
Ask a Superhost Expansion
Ask a Superhost matches anyone interested in hosting with one of our most experienced Hosts for one-on-one help . Since launch, more than 60,000 prospective Hosts have used Ask a Superhost. Today, we’re expanding Ask a Superhost to over 30 languages in 196 countries. Prospective Hosts can now be paired with Superhosts based on their location, language, and listing. As an added benefit, Superhosts can provide tips for completing a listing page and are there for you through your first booking.
AirCover, Accessibility Review, Verified Wifi, I’m (even more) Flexible, and Ask a Superhost Expansion are all available to everyone today. Translation Engine and Smarter Trips Tab will launch before the end of this year.
* Survey conducted by YouGov between 12-19 October 2021 with a sample size of 1,007 Indian respondents.
** All data in this post is for Q3 2021, and all comparisons are to Q3 2019, unless otherwise specified.
*** Based on Airbnb internal data measuring new Indian Hosts’ income over the period of March 12, 2020 to September 30, 2021
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the “safe harbor” provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 about us and our industry that involve substantial risks and uncertainties. In some cases, forward-looking statements can be identified by terms such as “may,” “will,” “appears,” “should,” “expects,” “plans,” “anticipates,” “could,” “outlook,” “intends,” “target,” “projects,” “contemplates,” “believes,” “estimates,” “predicts,” “potential,” or “continue,” or the negative of these words or other similar terms or expressions that concern our expectations, strategy, plans, or intentions. All statements other than statements of historical facts contained in this press release, including but not limited to statements regarding the expected policies of companies and expectations of people with respect to working remotely, expectations regarding travel trends; the travel behavior of guests; the potential impact of the lifting of travel restrictions, the impact of border re-openings for travel on our overall business and our Hosts, the origin and destinations of inbound travelers to the United States, the demand for travel; and cross-border travel trends, are forward-looking statements. Although we believe that the expectations reflected in these forward-looking statements are reasonable, we cannot provide any assurance that these expectations will prove to be correct.
The following factors are among those that may cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements:
● the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on our business, the travel industry, and travel trends;
● changes in policies and regulations regarding inbound travel across countries; and
● future changes or disruptions in the travel and hospitality industries or economic downturns and the other factors discussed under “Risk Factors,” “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations,” and “Cautionary Note on Forward-Looking Statements” in our Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) on February 26, 2021 and any subsequent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q filed with the SEC.
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