Airbnb is currently facing different controversies from an array of different cities either banning the platform entirely or implementing some kind of form of restrictions on its properties. Supporters of the platform argue that Airbnb enables flexible and affordable lodging, but others argue that Airbnb causes local housing prices to spike, hotels struggle to be competitive, that the lodging manages to duck safety checks and affects the quality of life for local people. One such example is Majorca which has completely banned Airbnb.
As a result, Airbnb is trying to innovate its way out of the situation and working on expanding services further beyond accommodation. They are aiming to do this by becoming a travel companion website, much like they’ve done with personalised guidebooks, experiences and Airbnb Plus, and other services for high-end travellers. One such way they are doing this is by adding support for more trip-planning features and adding co-travellers not only to the itinerary but more on a collaboration basis.
Say you’re heading with a group of people on a business trip or simply planning to get a few families together at the same location, you’ll want to be able to contribute to the accommodation and area. The forthcoming co-travellers feature will enable users to send invites to everyone who will be joining them on a trip. Every traveller can save their own ideas including homes they’d like to book and also other criteria such as the Airbnb experiences, food, drinks and sights they’d like to see. Every item added to the joint list will identify which one of the travellers who added the items to the trip.
In addition, Airbnb has also integrated with Google Places so you can find and add places you want to visit on the trip, by combing through data from Google including photos of the locations, as well as opening hours. Another new Airbnb feature also enables users to organise trips and places to visit, by day. The planner within Airbnb will show all users everything which is booked, each item on an integrated map, and if you run out of stuff to do, it will also suggest other potential interesting ideas you can do based on what you’ve already booked.
Finally, another innovation is home sharing apartment complexes built exclusively for Airbnb. In associate with development company Niido, Airbnb is building a 324-apartment complex which will allow people to buy apartments and lease them off via the Airbnb system, either short or long term. By the end of 2019, Niido and Airbnb hope to have as many as 14 complexes across the country. The first complex is due to open in Nashville this year.