Airbnb has unveiled the next chapter in its mission to change the way people travel, offering an alternative to mass produced tourism. Beginning today, 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 per cent) or doing their taxes (52 per cent). Something is clearly missing from modern tourism as only a quarter (26 per cent) 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.”
“The Live There campaign is about tackling the tension that so many people feel when they travel,” said Jonathan Mildenhall, Airbnb’s CMO. “We know travellers want more. People around the world have told us they want to live like a local. They want a deeper connection to the community, to genuinely feel part of the places they visit. At the heart of this campaign is our antidote to commoditised travel - the unique, human connections that happen when you 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 Neighborhoods
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 should join local runners in Somerville, MA to enjoy a pint at Olde Magoun’s Saloon.
Airbnb offerings have always been on the forefront of design, and the reimagined app is no different. 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.
The global campaign launched April 19, and will feature 15, 30 and 60 second TV spots, as well as digital, out-of-home, and print creative. The spots will showcase Airbnb’s community while contrasting standard tourism with the Airbnb experience and language that suggests that when people head to Paris, they don’t just go to Paris, and don’t tour Paris, but they instead live in Paris.
Airbnb Traveller research key findings
- When US travellers think about the stress of dealing with crowds at major tourist attractions...
- 48 per cent of those questioned found this more stressful than a work deadline
- 48 per cent found it more stressful than going to the dentist
- 52 per cent found it more stressful than doing their tax return
A relaxing vacation?
- 52 per cent of travellers do not typically feel more relaxed and refreshed after a holiday
- 19 per cent typically feel more stressed and tired after a holiday
To be or not to be a tourist
- 47 per cent of travellers responded that they are not happy to be considered a tourist when visiting a new place
- Only 13 per cent would mainly like to take part in tourist experiences when they visit a city on vacation
- 55 per cent would like to combine tourist activities with local experiences and 23 percent would mainly like to do local experiences
All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov plc. Total sample size was 2307 US adults, of which 2105 have ever taken a vacation, with fieldwork undertaken between 8th-11th April. The survey was carried out online, and all figures have been weighted and are representative of US adults (aged 18+).