By SHAFIQQUL ALIFF / Pic AFP
AIRBNB Inc has provided more than 50 upgrades to make it easier for Malaysians to host and support the changing needs of travellers, including verification, as the company believes remote working and flexible travel is here to stay.
Airbnb, in a statement, stated that new Malaysian hosts who started hosting post-pandemic collectively earned over RM16.7 million from welcoming guests on Airbnb from March 2020 to September 2021, and the new found flexibilities are bringing about a revolution in how people travel.
Airbnb CEO and co-founder Brian Chesky said 2021 has been a year of relentless innovation to refine their core service for Airbnb and they delivered more than 150 upgrades and innovations in 2021.
He said Airbnb is constantly improving its service to meet these new travel trends and the new waves of guests they will bring.
“Our design-driven approach means that we’re constantly improving our service to adapt to this changing world. For the first time ever, millions of people can now travel anytime, anywhere, for any length, and even live anywhere on Airbnb. This is a travel revolution,” he said.
According to the company, long-term stays are its fastest-growing category of trip length and it accounted for 20% of their global business, as guests this year are spending more on longer stays.
In addition, nearly half of all Airbnb bookings (45%) are for at least one week, globally.
One of the new tools that Airbnb added are “I’m Flexible” which gave guests the option to search for listings up to six months ahead which currently has been used more than 500 million times and the latest update will allow travellers to search for new listings that are “off the grid” and offbeat.
Airbnb is also introducing Air- Cover as an upgrade for its four million hosts to offer even more reassurance and make it even easier for new hosts to take that first big step, including a protection programme that comes with US$1 million (RM4.17 million) in damage protection and liability coverage, as well as income- loss and deep-cleaning protection.
To recruit even more hosts to meet surging demand, Airbnb will match its most experienced “Superhosts” to those who have questions about opening their homes to guests.