Last year, Airbnb released 150 upgrades to improve every aspect of the Airbnb service. Today, the company is launching the biggest change to Airbnb in a decade including:
- Airbnb Categories – A new way to search that makes it easy to discover millions of homes you never knew existed.
- Split Stays – An innovative feature that provides more options for longer stays by splitting your trip between two homes.
- AirCover for guests – The most comprehensive protection in travel, included for free with every stay.
These platform updates come hot on the heels of Malaysia’s recent international border reopening, as travel interest to Malaysia amongst international and domestic guests continue to surge. Immediately after the government announced in early March that international borders would reopen on 1 April.
- Singapore, the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia topped the list of overseas countries where Airbnb guests were searching for stays in Malaysia.
- Asia Pacific was strongly represented in Malaysians’ list of favourite overseas destinations to visit, with London, Istanbul, Bali, Paris and Melbourne ranking the top most searched cities by Malaysian guests.
Millions of people are now more flexible about where they live and work. But travel search has been the same for 25 years — you enter a location and dates into a search box. Most of us can only think of a few dozen cities to type into the search box, but there are Airbnbs in 100,000 towns and cities around the world.
That’s why Airbnb is introducing a new way to search designed around Airbnb Categories, with 56 new categories that organize homes based on their style, location, or proximity to a travel activity. When you search for a destination, your search results are also organized by categories that are relevant to that destination, making it easy to discover millions of unique homes you never knew existed. As you view different categories, the map intelligently zooms in to show you where the homes are located.
To create Airbnb Categories, Airbnb evaluates millions of homes using machine learning to analyze titles, written descriptions, photo captions, structured data from Hosts, and reviews from guests. Members of Airbnb’s curation team review listings and hand-pick featured photos — so if a listing is in the Amazing Pools Category, the first photo shows a pool. Then, each category goes through a final check to help ensure consistency and photo quality.
Guests can now search by a listing’s style, location, or activity type. Guests can search directly from Style categories including Boats, Cabins, Farms and Tiny Homes – plus much, much more. Location categories can help guests search specifically anything from Beaches to Deserts and Islands; while Activity categories allow them to find that perfect Camping, Surfing, or Skiing spot.
In the last three months, nearly half of the nights booked on Airbnb were for trips of a week or more. Airbnb created Split Stays, an innovative feature that splits your trip between two homes. With Split Stays, you will typically see around 40% more listings when searching for longer stays.
Split Stays automatically appear in your search results when searching a specific destination. They also appear within 14 categories — including Camping, National Parks, Skiing, and Surfing — to inspire you to stay in two destinations as part of a longer trip. For example, when browsing the National Parks Category, Split Stays might suggest a pair of homes near Zion National Park and the Grand Canyon.
When viewing Split Stays on a map, an animated line visually connects the two homes to show you the distance between them and the sequence of the stays. Once you select a Split Stay, you’re guided through an easy-to-use interface to book each stay, one home at a time.
AirCover for Guests
After staying home for over two years, millions of Malaysians are travelling again for the first time since the start of the pandemic. That’s why Airbnb created AirCover, the most comprehensive protection in travel. AirCover is always included and always free, and it represents the biggest upgrade to Airbnb customer service in a decade.
With AirCover, you’re covered by four protections every time you stay on Airbnb:
- Booking Protection Guarantee – In the unlikely event a Host needs to cancel your booking within 30 days of check-in, we’ll find you a similar or better home, or we’ll refund you.
- Check-In Guarantee – If you can’t check into your home and the Host cannot resolve the issue, we’ll find you a similar or better home for the length of your original stay, or we’ll refund you.
- Get-What-You-Booked Guarantee – If at any time during your stay you find your listing isn’t as advertised — for example, the refrigerator stops working and your Host can’t easily fix it, or there are fewer bedrooms than listed — you’ll have three days to report it and we’ll find you a similar or better home, or we’ll refund you.
- 24-hour Safety Line – If you ever feel unsafe, you’ll get priority access to specially-trained safety agents, day or night.
AirCover has been designed directly into the Airbnb app and website, making it easy for you to contact an agent and resolve issues quickly. Airbnb has created a team of specially trained agents for last-minute rebooking assistance, and also significantly expanded its 24-hour safety line to cover 16 languages.
Airbnb’s redesigned app and website with over 50 categories of unique homes, the innovative Split Stays feature, and AirCover for guests will be available worldwide this week.
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