Airbnb is launching a new product aimed at promoting a safe and secure experience for solo travellers.
According to Airbnb internal data, 26% of all nights booked in 2021 were by solo travellers, and more than 50% of nights booked for long-term stays during the first quarter of 2022 were for those travelling alone.
The new Solo Traveller in-app experience is designed to better support safe solo travelling on Airbnb. When a single guest books a private or shared room reservation, a specialised in-app experience is activated, starting with supplying the traveller with expert tips they may want to try to help stay safe when travelling alone.
The key component of this new feature is the ability for the solo traveller to easily share 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. Airbnb plans 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.
Airbnb also makes its 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. The feature quickly connects the user to local emergency services — which could be particularly helpful for solo travellers who are travelling 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.
In the rare circumstance that Airbnb needs to contact someone on a traveller’s behalf, adding an emergency contact can help quicken that process. This can be found in Account Settings in the Personal Info tab towards the bottom of the page and is only visible to Airbnb.