Airbnb is improving its search options and hosting tools

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An Airbnb Plus in Seattle. According to Airbnb, stays of 28 nights or more currently account for 40% of upcoming nights booked for this summer in Seattle.
An Airbnb Plus in Seattle. According to Airbnb, stays of 28 nights or more currently account for 40% of upcoming nights booked for this summer in Seattle. Photo Credit: Airbnb

Airbnb has unveiled more than 100 platform changes designed to enhance both the guest and host experience, with Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky calling it the company's "most comprehensive update ever."

Chief among the changes is a trio of new search functions, launched in response to a pandemic-era shift toward more flexible travel habits, according to Chesky.

"People have newfound flexibility," he told listeners during media presentation on Monday. "As they're adopting remote work, they're less tethered. People are now traveling anytime, everywhere and staying longer."

The Flexible Dates search function, which began rolling out earlier this year, enables guests to search according to whether they're looking to book a weekend stay, weeklong stay or monthlong stay.

The second function, called Flexible Matching, enables guests to expand their options by including accommodations that closely fit a specified search, but may be missing one parameter. For example, a Flexible Matching search may surface a property that has every amenity a traveler is looking for but sits slightly above his or her selected price range.

Lastly, the site's Flexible Destinations function organizes listings not by location but by accommodation category. Guests can explore accommodation types like cabins, treehouses, yurts, private islands and boats, with each of these categories featuring listings from around the world.

More support for Airbnb hosts

Concurrent with the flexible search options, Airbnb has unveiled a redesigned hosting sign-up page and process, as well as enhanced host support measures.

For example, the company has beefed up its community support team for hosts, doubling its number of support agents. Additionally, community support will now be offered in 42 languages, up from 11 languages.

Airbnb's platform revamp comes as the company prepares for a strong post-pandemic travel rebound. In mid-May, Chesky told investors during the company's first-quarter earnings call that Airbnb's business was recovering "faster than anyone expected," and that nearly a quarter of all nights booked in Airbnb's first quarter were for longterm stays totaling 28 nights or more.

The longer-stay trend appears to be most pronounced in urban destinations, with Chesky reporting on Monday that longterm stays of 28 nights or more currently account for 40% of upcoming nights booked for this summer in Seattle, 43% of upcoming nights in Los Angeles and 62% of upcoming nights in New York.

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