Airbnb on Tuesday announced a number of new features, including a translation tool to be launched later this year, and extended insurance for hosts, as easing the COVID-19 restriction sends more people to its home-rent app.
These features, aimed at facilitating increased cross-border travel and longer stays, will help Airbnb take advantage of the epidemic-driven shift in customer preferences to non-urban destinations and alternative accommodations.
“What you’re going to see is that as the world moves into the post-Covid 19 world, people are going to travel a lot more than before, definitely a lot more than they do now,” Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky told Reuters in an interview.
Chesky expects a new tool, capable of translating catalog descriptions and reviews into 60 languages, to help with bookings, especially in Europe and Asia Pacific, where cross-border travel is in high demand.
ARBNB said more than 100,000 guests stayed on its rental property for at least three months last year.
Its “AirCover” insurance will protect hosts from pet damage as global searches for its pet-friendly inventory are growing on its platform.
Trust analyst Naved Khan said the latest upgrades are expected to boost Airbnb. The brokerage maintains its “hold” rating on the stock.
Bookings in the United States rose sharply on Monday due to a few months of paint-up demand as the country lifted travel restrictions on epidemics in early 2020.
Overall cross-border travel increased to 33 percent of all nights booked in the third quarter, from 27 percent in the second quarter and 20 percent in the first quarter, Airbnb said.
As of November 8, according to Airbnb, the top destinations for inbound overseas travel in the United States include Los Angeles, Miami and New York.
Thomson Reuters 2021