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Airbnb unveils biggest changes in a decade

The accommodation platform has introduced features to reflect newfound flexibility in work arrangements

Having conducted 150 upgrades last year to improve several aspects of its service, Airbnb has now announced its biggest set of changes to date.

Introduced to reflect changing customer habits, the platform now features a new way to search using Airbnb Categories.

Airbnb Categories makes it easy to find accommodation by making homes searchable by the type of property instead of location. When users open Airbnb, they’re presented with 56 categories that organise homes based on their style, location or proximity to a travel activity.

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Guests can still search by destination but now their search results will also be organised by categories that are relevant to that destination. 

To create Airbnb Categories, the company evaluated millions of homes using machine learning to analyse titles, written descriptions, photo captions, structured data from hosts and reviews from guests.

The 56 Airbnb Categories include more than four million unique homes

In addition, a new Split Stays feature allows users to split their trips between two locations as part of a longer trip, while the AirCover offers consumer protection. Airbnb’s redesigned app and website with the new functions will go live worldwide this week.

Commenting on the announcement, Airbnb CEO and co-founder Brian Chesky said: “The way people travel has changed forever. That’s why we’re introducing the biggest change to Airbnb in a decade. First, people are more flexible about where they live and work, so we’ve designed a new way to search with Airbnb Categories. Second, people are taking longer trips, so we created Split Stays to give you more options by splitting your trip between two homes. And third, we’re introducing AirCover for guests, giving you the confidence to book knowing that Airbnb’s got your back.” 

For more information, visit www.airbnb.ae

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