Do you use Airbnb when planning your vacations? Or do you host on Airbnb? There are some exciting things lined up for 2018. In today’s blog, we will talk about the potential 2018 Airbnb growth. Will these new changes affect Airbnb hosts and guests around the world?
Founded in 2008 as an air mattress bed and breakfast rental platform, Airbnb is a sharing economy monster, now valued at $31 billion. It is the second most valuable startup after Uber.
Airbnb could go public in 2018! While Brian Chesky might not be in a hurry to make Airbnb public, the company is making promising growth by aggressive global expansion. So the chances of going public are high.
Upcoming cities, spaces and experiences:
According to U.S. Travel Association, there were over 75 million international travelers to the US in 2016 and that is expected to grow to 83 million by 2020. Figures indicate the hospitality industry is growing.
If you are planning to choose Airbnb to plan your travels you can expect higher prices in these trending cities:
- Most popular destination hot spots: Tokyo, Osaka, and Paris are the most popular destination hotspots for a city vacation.
- New York City, London, Rome, Orlando, Miami, Sydney, and Lisbon are following closely.
Most people are looking for a home or condo to stay, but there is also a rise in the demand for unique accommodations. Consider a surge in demand for the following types of unique accommodation experiences:
- Nature lodges and retreats.
- Tents, tree houses, ryokans, and yurts.
- RVs and Campervans also seem to be a popular choice.
Chesky, being a travel enthusiast himself, has kept the company’s strengths true to his passion. Airbnb provides grassroots organizations the technology to create unique experiences. It is seen that people who book their travel through Airbnb want a more unusual and adventurous experience.
According to Forbes, experiences involved in food and drink account for 29% of total experiences booked on the site. Food tastings, home-cooked dinners, wine tastings and local culinary workshops are a bit hit. Airbnb predicts that experiences like live concerts and offbeat outdoor excursions will boom in 2018. With Airbnb, not only you get a perfect place to stay for a great rate but also link up with locals to enjoy the locale-specific experiences that are unique.
New designs, growth, and features expected in 2018
There have been several new designs added in 2017 to improve the hosting facilities and the ability to enhance a space based on the reviews provided by the renter. Here are some exciting developments for 2018.
Airbnb provides a unique lodging experience, but their biggest drawback is reliability. Airbnb’s inventory is not reliable! Hence, new product releases are oriented around improving the reliability of the inventory. Some efforts have been seen towards new review flow, new host tools, host mobile app, host controls, messaging and updating policies to reduce racial discrimination.
Chesky knows the value of a brand, therefore pushing hard to explore new markets.
● New Markets:
Though Airbnb is much more significant in Europe than in the US, they are gradually entering new markets in China, India, and aspirations in Africa as well. Global expansion is a significant focus in 2018 to untapped markets in Airbnb has been quiet, for instance, Southeast Asia and South America.
● Airbnb for business:
Even though it makes strategic sense to use Airbnb for business travel, it has been a secondary focus for Airbnb in 2017. It doesn’t look like a firm press for Airbnb in 2018.
● Luxury retreats:
While there is some focus on pushing the Airbnb for Business, a primary focus will be on luxury retreats, which has a much high margin segment.
There are a couple of new products that we can expect from Airbnb in 2018. But for any new product, there is risk, and it will need few interactions to get it right.
With the new updates on trips, you can organize your vacations with the Airbnb app. Book restaurants, find experiences and events in the nearby communities and read reviews. Trips officially launched in November 2017 and offer travelers uniques excursions and adventures. It pushes Airbnb’s beyond the coach surfing origins. Trips will have a strong push in 2018. From the branding perspective of Airbnb, Trips is a bullseye.
● Airbnb sublets:
An existing business for Airbnb which provides a solution for more extended stays without a long-term lease. Since it is outside the travel space, it has not done historically very well probably due to unsuitable market fit. There could be some development in Airbnb sublets but not as much as Trips.
● Airbnb flights:
Airbnb is developing a service for booking flights and promises to compete with Expedia Inc. and Priceline Group Inc.
● Virtual Reality:
Airbnb will soon provide 3D scans of rental options to give prospective renters a better sense of the space they are renting. Also, renters will be able to use the platform to explore the destinations and place vacations remotely.
● Disable-friendly travel:
Airbnb has acquired Accomable, a London based startup that focuses on travel listings that are disabled-friendly. Airbnb wants to build a community of hosts that accommodate disabled visitors and in turn attract more of those looking for disabled-friendly travel.
● Web calendar:
It has the same functionality as the mobile calendar. You can comfortably host, add availability and manage reservations from your desktop. You can also edit the text to your experience page without contacting the customer’s experience team. But if you make significant changes to the experiences page you have to notify travelers of existing bookings.
Get ready for Airbnb-approved apartments. In 2018, look out for Niido, a co-branded apartment project, which landed a $200 million from Brookfield Property Partners. Niido promises to empower the sharing economy and wants to change the way people live.
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