(30 May 2021)
Airbnb has introduced more than 100 upgrades to refine
and improve every aspect of its service, from the platform’s
website and app to community support and policies.

Although the
changes apply globally, in Thailand the Airbnb 2021 Release
will add features to give guests more flexibility when
planning their travel and to make it easier for anyone in Thailand
to become a host.

The updates come as Airbnb data reveals that Thais
are turning to Airbnb for affordable and convenient
family-friendly travel, and using income earned through hosting to
stay afloat and fight costs of living during the pandemic.

– Findings from a recent YouGov survey shows that
travel with immediate family is the #1 reason for domestic travel
amongst Thais, with nature retreats and quick getaways between 1-3
days likely to gain traction this year.

De Crop Origin House in Tambon Chae Ramae, Chang Wat Ubon Ratchathani, Thailand. This cool house is hosted by Kritwit on Airbnb. Click to enlarge.

– Notably, a survey conducted by Airbnb of Thai
guests and Hosts in 2020 revealed that the top two reasons why
guests choose to stay with Airbnb are convenient location and
affordability.

– In the same survey, a third of Airbnb Stays
Hosts said the money earned through Airbnb provided an important
additional source of revenue for them. 80% of Thai Experience
Hosts considered hosting an experience to be their primary
occupation, with the income made from hosting making up
approximately a third of their total household income.

“We are seeing three fundamental shifts in travel
as people become less tethered and more flexible,” said Brian
Chesky, Co-Founder and CEO of Airbnb. “People can travel anytime,
they are traveling to more places and they are staying longer. We
believe the lines between living, working and traveling are
blurring and, with this major upgrade, we are making it easier for
people to integrate travel into their lives and for new Hosts to
add even more homes for guests to choose from.”

100+ Upgrades Across Entire Airbnb Experience
for Guests and Hosts

Airbnb has introduced three
new ways to search the platform – Flexible Dates, Flexible
Matching and Flexible Destinations.

Flexible Dates,
which Airbnb started rolling out in February, makes it easy to
find the best places to stay if you are flexible on when you go.
Rather than searching with fixed dates, you can search for a
weekend getaway, a week-long vacation or even a month-long stay.

Flexible Matching offers a wider selection of
listing results when you search for a place to stay by surfacing
homes just outside of the search parameters. For example, a beach villa in Phuket that
costs THB3,200 per night, rather than the THB3,000 max setting in
your search.

Flexible Destinations is a new way to plan trips
when finding an unique place to stay is more important than
traveling to a specific destination. For instance, it surfaces
forest lodges in Thailand, ryokans in Japan, or castles in Spain.
From treehouses to boats, on Airbnb you have over 170,000 unique
homes to choose from and the number of searches for unique
listings has grown 94% so far in 2021 compared to the same period
in 2019.

Airbnb has also added new filters that will adapt to the
season or location and allow people to search for homes near
points of interest, such as national parks, or with very specific
attributes such as whether the property has an ocean view.

Additional upgrades for guests include:

Faster Checkout Process:
Airbnb has reduced the number of steps for new guests to confirm their
first reservation.

Arrival Guide:
Easy access to all the helpful information a guest needs
(directions, door codes, Wifi, etc.) before check-in.

Updated Reviews:
Guests now have a fuller spectrum, from critiques to compliments,
to rate their stay.

Clearer Cancellations:
Refreshed cancellation policies increase clarity for both guests
and Hosts.

Becoming a Host

Airbnb has set up a brand new onboarding process that has been simplified
from dozens of steps to just 10, supported by the latest
technologies.

Computer vision deep-learning models automatically
suggest photo arrangement based on their guest appeal, while smart
text suggestions help hosts craft the best title and description
for their listing.

Streamlining and simplifying the process will
help anyone who wants to host and take advantage of the coming
travel surge onboard quickly to get their first booking.

In fact,
in Q1 2021, for new listings that were activated and booked, 50%
received a reservation request within four days of activation.

In Thailand, over a third (38%) of local hosts
actively reinvested their earnings from hosting to spruce up and
improve their homes, as they look forward to hosting more domestic
guests in the long term.

Additional upgrades for Hosts include:

All-New Today Tab:
A new centralized home base to make it easier for hosts to manage
bookings and daily tasks. Here they will see new booking requests,
upcoming reservations as well as details of current guests and
quick links to the most used host tools.

New Welcome to Hosting
Page
: A redesigned hub for new hosts with helpful articles
and testimonials as well as an improved tool to estimate potential
earnings from hosting based on nightly rates and occupancy in
their immediate area.

Inbox Improvements:
Messages now load up to 10 times faster and new features include
Personalized Quick Replies which let hosts reply with one tap to
guests’ often-asked questions, and Scheduled Messages which
automates sending reminders, like checkout instructions.

Dedicated Superhost
Support
: A dedicated support team for Superhosts and Host
Community Leaders giving the most experienced hosts priority
access to the most experienced support agents.

Airbnb has also committed to improving community
support by doubling the number of support agents and expanding support
coverage from 11 to 42 languages, and a completely redesigned Help
Center will be easier to navigate by offering more personalized
support to hosts and guests.

Many of these upgrades were inspired by a
comprehensive analysis of Airbnb booking data and consumer
research which reveals the extent to which the pandemic has
fundamentally changed travel. With 4 million hosts across more
than 220 countries and regions and more than 900 million guest
arrivals, Airbnb is in an unique position to see how travel is
changing. The analysis reveals three key trends:

– In part due to remote work trends, people are
less tethered and more flexible on when they can travel. Since the
start of this year, Airbnb has seen more than 200 million
date-flexible searches, 100 million of which used the new Flexible
Dates tool.

– Travel is being distributed to a much wider
range of destinations. In the 12 months ending 30 April 2021,
Airbnb had bookings in 94,000 cities.

– People are staying longer on trips. The share of
stays 28 days or longer on Airbnb has increased from 14% of nights
booked in 2019 to 24% in Q1 2021.

See latest

Travel Industry News,
Video
Interviews,
Podcasts
and other
news regarding:

COVID19,

Airbnb,

Thailand,

Roi-Et,

Khon Kaen,

Ubon Ratchathani,

Sisaket,

Nakhon Phanom.


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