Airbnb revamps room rentals for better matches

Airbnb is launching a new way to rent rooms, Airbnb Rooms. The new feature focuses on renting a room in someone else’s home — the original way to use Airbnb back in the day — but with the aim of helping travelers match with a host who fits their vibe.

“With the pandemic finally over, this year we’re expecting over 300 million guest arrivals on Airbnb. To prepare, we’re making the most extensive set of improvements to Airbnb ever, starting with the introduction of Airbnb Rooms,” the company said in a press release.

Renting a room is significantly cheaper that booking an entire house or apartment. Airbnb says room rentals average about $67 per night.

“We think this idea is more important than ever. In the current economic environment, people want to travel affordably. And after years of being isolated during the pandemic, they’re looking for ways to connect with people and have authentic experiences,” says Airbnb.

For this to work, hosts need to set up a host passport to help the renter get to know them better before booking. Airbnb also noted the redesign of filters for better search results, and new privacy features.

“Millions of people have given us feedback on how to improve Airbnb. We’ve listened,” said Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky.

Among the 50+ features the company has added are redesigned wish lists, priority customer service on a trip, pay over time (with Klarna), improved maps and instant rebooking credits.

“As part of the 50+ new features and upgrades, we’re launching 25 improvements for Hosts, including new pricing tools to help Hosts set competitive prices, easily add weekly and monthly discounts, and compare their listing to similar ones in their area,” they added.