Inspired by the major shift in how people are traveling within the Philippines and around the world, Airbnb is introducing more than 100 upgrades for its Filipino Hosts and guests. From its website to community support and policies, Airbnb has been working to refine and improve every aspect of its service. The Airbnb 2021 Release introduces features that aim to give Pinoy guests even more flexibility when planning their travels and to make it simpler for anyone in the Philippines to become a Host.
These key updates come as Airbnb data reveals that Filipinos are turning to Airbnb for affordable and family-friendly domestic travel. Filipinos have also been hosting to support themselves and their local communities during the pandemic.
- A recent YouGov survey* shows that travel with immediate family is the number one reason for domestic travel among Filipinos, with family vacations being the primary reason to travel this year for six out of 10 Filipinos.
- Notably, a survey** conducted by Airbnb of Filipino guests and Hosts reveals approximately 62 percent of guests stayed in an Airbnb listing with their family in 2020. More than 58 percent of guests also said an Airbnb Stay was a more affordable choice of accommodation.
- In the same survey, 57 percent of Airbnb Hosts said the income they’ve earned through hosting has helped them stay in their homes and more than half said they want to find more ways to host with Airbnb. More than a third of Filipino Hosts said they recommend their favorite local restaurants and businesses within their community to their guests.
“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 now are traveling anytime to more places and staying longer. Because the lines between travel, living and working are blurring, we are upgrading our service to make it easier for people to integrate travel into their lives and for more people to become Hosts.”
100+ upgrades across the entire Airbnb Experience for guests and Hosts
Making it easier for guests
With flexibility at the heart of a new, improved browsing and booking experience, Airbnb is introducing three new ways to search on 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 to go. Rather than searching with fixed dates, you can search for a weekend getaway, a week-long vacation or even a month-long stay. Since launching the tool, the platform has seen more than 100 million searches.
- Flexible Matching offers a wider selection of listing results when you search for a place to stay by surfacing homes just outside of your search parameters. This way, you never miss out on a great stay that falls just outside of what was specified in the search. A farm stay in Tagaytay that costs PHP3,200 per night, for example, will be included in your search results where you specified a PHP3,000 max setting.
- Flexible Destinations is a new way to plan trips when finding a unique place to stay is more important to you than traveling to a specific destination. It adapts to your location and helps you discover incredible properties in places you might not have thought to search for. For instance, it surfaces family villas in the Philippines, ryokans in Japan and castles in Spain. From treehouses to boats, there are more than 170,000 unique homes to choose from on Airbnb and the number of searches for unique listings has grown 94 percent so far in 2021 compared to the same period in 2019.
Airbnb is also significantly improving its search capabilities to help people find their ideal place to stay. New filters 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 – Reduced 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.
Making it easier to host
Today, Airbnb is making it even easier to become a Host with a brand-new onboarding process that has been simplified from dozens of steps to just 10 and supported by the latest technologies. Computer vision deep-learning models automatically arrange photos 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 be onboarded quickly. In fact, in Q1 2021, for new listings that were activated and booked, 50 percent received a reservation request within four days of activation.
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, 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 and 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 lets Hosts reply with one tap to guests’ often-asked questions, and Scheduled Messages, which automates sending reminders such as checkout instructions.
- Dedicated Superhost support – A dedicated support team for Superhosts and Host Community Leaders gives our most experienced Hosts priority access to our most experienced support agents.
Airbnb is also improving its community support by doubling the number of support agents and expanding its support coverage from 11 to 42 languages. A completely redesigned Help Center will be easier to navigate by offering more personalized support to Hosts and guests.
Supporting our Philippine Airbnb community
In the Philippines, Airbnb has launched seven Host Clubs in Cebu, Baguio, Metro Manila, Rizal, Western Visayas, Lapu Lapu and Quezon. Host Clubs are Host-led networks of Airbnb Hosts, guests, small business owners and local community leaders who are passionate about home sharing. These clubs support Filipino Hosts as they connect, collaborate and support each other and their local communities during the pandemic by sharing advice and best practices on hosting.
“Hosting with Airbnb has helped me grow not only as a hospitality provider but as an individual as well. It has broadened my horizons and taught me to embrace different cultures and beliefs. I am grateful to be hosting with a company that continually promotes diversity and belonging, and am honored to be a voice for the Metro Manila Host community where we have been working hand-in-hand to improve our hosting standards through specially curated workshops,” shared Bernadette Ann Balgomera, Airbnb Host Club leader in Metro Manila.
The blurring of traveling and living
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 close to 1 billion guest arrivals, Airbnb is in a 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 until April 30, 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 percent of nights booked in 2019 to 24 percent in Q1 2021.***
For a full list of all 100+ upgrades, please visit www.airbnb.com/2021.
The Airbnb Report on Travel & Living can be downloaded at https://news.airbnb.com/2021-travel-report.
*Survey conducted by YouGov between 28 April and 18 May 2021 with a sample size of 1,100.
**Survey from Feb 1, 2021 to Mar 3, 2021 for Homes Hosts who hosted a trip during 2020 or Homes guests who took a trip during 2020.
***Nights booked before cancellation and alterations.