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Airbnb Rolls Out Flexibility Features As Travel Picks Up Post-Pandemic

Airbnb Rolls Out Flexibility Features As Travel Picks Up Post-Pandemic

May 24, 2021 at 09:43PM
by PYMNTS

Airbnb is rolling out flexibility features and other tools to streamline and enhance the travel booking experience for both customers and hosts, the company said in a Monday (May 24) press release.

Travel is anticipated to surge this summer following more than a year of COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions. Airbnb said it incorporated more than 100 enhancement features that factor in lifestyle shifts that are expected to continue post-pandemic.

“We are seeing three fundamental shifts in travel as people become less tethered and more flexible,” said Airbnb Co-Founder and CEO Brian Chesky. “People can travel anytime, they are traveling to more places and they are staying longer. The lines between travel, living and working are blurring and we are upgrading our service to make it easier for people to integrate travel into their lives, and for more people to become Hosts.” 

The changes center on flexibility regarding dates, matching and destinations and aim to make the browsing process more meaningful so that people can “find their ideal place to stay.” Expanded filters were incorporated to help travelers find specific attributes about a property or location and search for points of interest in the area.

Flexible dates, which launched in February, give users the option for lengths of stay rather than specific months and days. So far, the new feature has more than 100 million searches, the company said.

Airbnb has over 4 million hosts but “millions” more are needed to meet the anticipated post-pandemic travel surge this summer, Chesky said in April. He said there is a chance that demand by travelers will exceed the inventory of hosts.

Airbnb Global Head of Payments Sam Shrauger told Karen Webster during PYMNTS ConnectedEconomy™ series that some people are excited to travel but hesitant about a hotel experience. Travelers are also looking for ways to combine remote work with a getaway just as a way to leave their own house.