San Francisco - Airbnb has unveiled the next chapter in its mission to change the way people travel, offering an alternative to mass produced tourism.
Beginning this week, Airbnb is rolling out an updated app, with a range of new features, and launching a global brand campaign that will encourage people to change the way they experience the world around them.
With over two million homes, Airbnb is already one of the world’s largest accommodation providers; more than 80 million people worldwide have already had a unique experience by staying in someone’s home when they travel. Having opened the doors to homes around the world, these new developments will go further in helping travellers live like a local in the neighbourhoods around them.
The newly updated Airbnb mobile app has personalisation at its heart, created with a brand new design language. The new product includes an innovative matching system designed to understand travellers’ preferences and then match them with the homes, neighbourhoods and experiences that meet their needs. A new Guidebooks feature will unlock local insights, giving travellers access to millions of insider tips from Airbnb’s global community of hosts.
Airbnb is also launching its largest brand campaign to date called ‘Live There,’ designed in response to the growing dissatisfaction and disappointment with standardised tourist offerings that have become the hallmark of modern tourism.
In an online poll of US travellers commissioned by Airbnb, it becomes clear how much modern tourism misses the mark when it comes to globe-trotting. Respondents said they felt overwhelmed with the crowds at tourist attractions with people finding it as stressful as going to the dentist (48 percent) or doing their taxes (52 percent). Something is clearly missing from modern tourism as only a quarter (26 percent) of travellers felt their last vacation exceeded their expectations.
“The number one reason people chose to travel on Airbnb is they want to live like a local. They don’t want to be tourists stuck in long lines, fighting with the crowds to see the same thing as everyone else,” said Brian Chesky, Airbnb co-founder and CEO. “Our hosts offer more than just generic hospitality - they welcome travellers from around the world into their communities. Today is the start of an exciting journey to help people not just go somewhere, but truly live there.”
Travel is more than just seeing and doing. It’s the feeling of truly living somewhere. With this launch, Airbnb has reengineered its search functionality to be more personalised for hosts and guests. When looking for homes, each traveller will see different results based on their unique preferences and the best match to a host. The new app starts a conversation with travellers about their ideal trip and, based on their preferences, Airbnb will reveal the hosts, homes, and neighbourhoods that will give travellers a sense of truly living in a destination. The app is constantly learning and adapting to find out what types of properties a traveller is interested in from cabins to castles, the type of experience they want and will even prompt people with additional filters such as pools, price range, and other suggestions to create the perfect trip.
Get to Know Neighbourhoods
The new app features an innovative neighbourhood matching system that will find the right neighbourhood to make any traveller feel like they are living like a local. Launching with 691 neighbourhoods in 23 cities around the globe, Airbnb will showcase the spirit of a neighbourhood through rich photography and content. When booking a trip to London for example, travellers who want to stay with their family somewhere residential might be matched with a neighbourhood like Kensington or, if a traveller is looking for interesting nightlife, the system might match them to Soho or Camden.
Guidebooks - Authentic Recommendations
To help travellers break free of the limits of cookie-cutter travel, Airbnb is launching Guidebooks, created by Airbnb hosts; to showcase local tips on the very best their neighbourhoods have to offer, including the best restaurants and bars, attractions, off the beaten track ideas and more. Instead of checking off a To Do list, Guidebooks help travellers find local gems not only in every city, but on every city block. Guidebooks give travellers a passport to local culture, such as how travellers can enjoy the market at the Old Biscuit Mill in Woodstock, Cape Town.
The new app is built with a proprietary Design Language System, which simplifies the process of developing features by giving designers ingredients to compose an app interface. The new system creates consistent, yet iconic designs that can enliven apps across all devices.
Introducing Live There - Airbnb’s largest, global brand campaign
Airbnb is also launching its largest brand campaign to date called ‘Live There.’ The new campaign throws out the notion that people want templated experiences that dull the senses and prevent people from seeing the world with a fresh perspective. Instead, Airbnb will inspire travellers to reimagine what it is to travel, showcasing the authentic and magical experiences made possible through Airbnb and its community of over two million homes. At the heart of the campaign is Airbnb’s antidote to commoditised travel, including living in the heart of local neighbourhoods, experiencing the hospitality and local expertise of hosts, and enjoying the comfort of every home.
Adapted from a press release for IOL