New features include the ability to split trips more easily between two homes when options for longer stays are limited and a search tool that shows properties across specific categories, such as whether the home offers “creative spaces,” a chef’s kitchen or a pool. The features were revealed at a company major event ahead of the all-important summer travel season.
“The way people travel has changed forever,” said Brian Chesky, Airbnb’s co-founder and CEO, in a statement ahead of the event. Chesky described the new features as “the biggest change to Airbnb in a decade.”
The company said that nearly half of the nights booked on Airbnb in the past three months were for trips of a week or longer. Chesky suggested that the new Split Stays feature, which allows customers to book consecutive stays in multiple homes in the same area, aims to meet this shift in demand.
With this option, which will automatically appear in search results, Airbnb users will typically see about 40% more listings when searching for longer stays, the company says.
The company also announced enhanced travel protection for guests, which will be included free with every booking. The protection, called AirCover, offers users similar accommodations or a refund if their reservation is canceled, if they can’t check into a home, or if the ad isn’t as advertised. Furthermore, the company said that customers will be able to access a 24-hour safety line if they feel unsafe during their stay.
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