Airbnb is launching a new product aimed at promoting a safe and secure experience for solo travellers.
As the “live anywhere” phenomenon has taken off among people who are able to work remotely, the platform has become increasingly integral to solo travellers. According to Airbnb internal data, 26 percent of all nights booked in 2021 were by solo travellers, and more than 50 percent of nights booked for long-term stays during the first quarter of 2022 were for solo travellers.
We recognize that the trust and safety of our solo traveller community is critical. As we saw the solo traveling and “live anywhere” trends begin to accelerate, our Trust team began working last year on a new product aimed at promoting a safe and secure experience for solo travellers, and we’re proud to announce it today.
The new Solo Traveller in-app experience is specifically designed to better support safe solo travelling on Airbnb. When a solo guest books a private or shared room reservation, they will activate a specialized in-app experience, starting with supplying the traveller with expert tips they may want to try to help stay safe when traveling alone.
The key component of this new feature is the ability for the solo traveller to easily share, with one-touch, their reservation itinerary with the important and trusted people in their lives for added peace of mind and in the rare event of an emergency during a stay. The itinerary includes: listing address, reservation code, and check in and out dates.
Once the reservation is confirmed in the message thread with the Host, the traveller will see automated prompts by Airbnb suggesting questions to ask the Host about the listing and surrounding neighbourhood. These suggested questions stem from research with experienced solo travellers who provided detail on the types of local insights that helped them stay safe while on the road.
This feature is initially being rolled out for English speaking guests. At this time, it will focus on bookings by solo travellers to private rooms or shared spaces. We plan to introduce this feature to additional countries and languages in the coming year, as well as expand it to include entire home listings as well.
This new feature complements our longstanding products and tools to promote safer travel experiences. Other in-app products like the 24-hour Safety Line are available to all travellers during active reservations. If a guest ever feels unsafe, they’ll get priority access to specially-trained safety agents, day or night.
The company also makes Local Emergency Services in-app feature available to all users 24/7, regardless of whether or not they are in the middle of a reservation. With one-touch, this feature quickly connects the user to local emergency services (e.g., 911) — which could be particularly helpful for solo travellers who are traveling abroad in countries where they do not know the phone number off-hand for local police. This feature was recently extended to 70 countries and regions, with more to come.
Lastly, all users have the option to add one Emergency Contact to their profile.