The new features include the ability to more easily divide trips between two homes when options for longer stays are limited and a search tool that surfaces properties via specific categories, such as whether the house offers “creative spaces,” a chef’s kitchen or a pool. The features were unveiled at a company keynote event ahead of the all-important summer travel season.
“The way people travel has changed forever,” Brian Chesky, Airbnb’s cofounder and CEO, said in a statement ahead of the event. Chesky touted the new features as “the biggest change to Airbnb in a decade.”
The company said nearly half of the nights booked on Airbnb in the last three months were for trips of a week or longer. Chesky suggested the new Split Stays feature, which allows customers to book back-to-back stays at multiple home in the same area, is intended to meet this shift in demand.
With this option, which will automatically appear in search results, Airbnb users will typically see around 40% more listings when hunting for longer stays, the company says.
The company also announced bolstered travel protections for guests, which will be included for free with every booking. Dubbed AirCover, the protections offer users similar accommodations or refunds if their booking was canceled, if they can’t check into a home, or if the listing wasn’t as advertised. Moreover, the company said customers will get access to a 24-hour safety line if they ever feel unsafe during their stay.