Last month, our digest reported that Airbnb has stopped new applications for Airbnb Experiences. This month, Airbnb is dominating the news again. However, this time it’s because of the introduction of new features. The platform’s 2023 Summer Release has generated loads of excitement, among guests and hosts alike.
Other platforms and tools have also been busy. As expected, artificial intelligence (AI) is making inroads into the industry and is being used to improve the experience for hosts and travelers.
Here’s a quick overview of new opportunities that stakeholders can leverage. In addition to new functionality, this month’s digest also covers exciting market trends for aspiring real estate investors.
Airbnb has described its 2023 Summer Release as its most extensive improvements to date. It has launched more than 50 new features and upgrades of which its new Airbnb Rooms category is the most anticipated update.
Its debut category, Airbnb Rooms, includes over 1 million listings, redesigned filters, and added privacy features like a “Host Passport”. Using the “Host Passport”, guests can get to know their host before booking a listing to help give them extra peace of mind.
Another exciting feature is its partnership with Klarna. This will give guests in Canada and the US the opportunity to pay for their stay using four interest-free installments over six weeks.
Other features that hosts and guests can look forward to include:
Airbnb has announced that it will be the official hosting partner of this year’s Special Olympics World Games set to take place from June 17-25, 2023 in Berlin. It’s the biggest inclusive sports event on the global calendar and is expected to attract hundreds of thousands of spectators across the globe and thousands of athletes from nearly 200 nations and territories.
Airbnb is proud to support this event and provide accommodation for travelers from all over the world. Thanks to this partnership, Berlin locals will also have the chance to be a part of the Games while earning an extra income.
Not only does this present an income-generating opportunity to property owners and local communities, but it also promotes sustainability. By taking advantage of home sharing, cities can accommodate the surge in visitors without costly infrastructure projects.
Property owners in Berlin who are interested in sharing their home with expected visitors are invited to become an Airbnb host. To help hosts make their listings more discoverable to travelers visiting Berlin for the Special Olympics, Airbnb also recently introduced the Adapted category for listings offering confirmed accessibility features.
Rent Responsibly, a platform aimed at helping short-term rental owners become more sustainable, has released a new sustainability report sharing insights on traveler trends and sustainable practices. This report summarizes the data that was shared at their recent two-day virtual conference — RR Summit: People, Places, Planet.
Here are some of the report’s tips that short-term rental hosts can apply to their practices to become more sustainable and appeal to more travelers:
AirDNA data has revealed that traditional vacation destinations are no longer the most profitable. To help hosts identify where the best STR growth can be found, they’ve listed the hottest cities for STRs in 2023. Texas boasts three cities (Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio), followed by Florida and North Carolina with two each. New jobs and relatively low house prices are two of the main contributing factors to the Texan cities’ popularity.
Other destinations identified as hot STR investment locations include Phoenix/Scottsdale, Arizona, St. Louis, Missouri, and Columbus, Ohio. These three destinations made the Top 10 list with locations like Denver, Colorado, Nashville, Tennessee, and San Diego, California just missing the 10 top spots.
There’s a new platform to help hosts with interior decorating. Fülhaus, a Canadian design and furnishing platform for furnished properties in North America, launched an AI-powered interior design and furnishing service for short-term rentals.
Thanks to this tech, hosts can search millions of products within its marketplace and decorate an entire unit for only $99 or simply a single room for free. All that’s needed is an image to serve as design inspo.
Andria Santos, the CEO of Fülhaus, explains, “Our goal is to change the way furniture is sourced and help provide a better guest experience through intentional design.”
HomeToGo, a German vacation rental marketplace, boasted their highest ever quarterly booking revenues in Q1 2023. Their booking revenues added up to just over $70 million, an annual increase of 50%.
Not only have they been busy increasing booking revenue, but they’ve also joined other travel brands in the race to implement AI. They recently announced AI Mode. Powered by OpenAI’s ChatGPT, AI Mode shares very personalized recommendations helping travelers with their trip planning.
The CEO, Patrick Andrae, explains that they approach product development dynamically. “We continuously leverage new technologies and travel trends to update our products and features without needing to wait for big launch events.”
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