Some huge updates are coming to Airbnb, in what the company’s CEO Brian Chesky said is “the biggest change to Airbnb in a decade.”

As reported by the New Zealand Herald, Airbnb have several cool new features on the way that should improve guest experiences. The app’s search function is being updates so guests can search for accommodation in around 56 categories, based on things like location, style, and proximity to activity.

Fancy a house situated beside a vineyard? The update will help you find this. Do you want to be able to look out at a stunning view from your window? You’ll now be able to search for that.

“Airbnb Categories organise homes by what makes them unique, which helps people discover places they wouldn’t have otherwise found. This can help alleviate over-tourism by redistributing travel to new locations beyond the same popular destinations,” Airbnb shared in a statement.

Airbnb will also now allow guests to book multiple homes within the same trip, after noting the current travel trend to book longer holidays (let’s face it, everyone’s desperate to make up for a lack of travel since the pandemic). So if a guest search for accommodation over a noticeably long period, Airbnb will give them the option of splitting up their trip between two different properties.

Another new feature, AirCover, will offer more protection for guests than ever before. If a host cancels a booking within 30 days of check-in, Airbnb is promising to find a similar or better place, with a refund provided if they can’t manage this.

With the new check-in guarantee, if a customer is unable to check-in to their booked accommodation and the host can’t sort the issue, Airbnb will again find a similar or better place, or provide a refund. Guests also now have a three-day window within which they can report if a listing isn’t exactly as advertised, and can ask for a refund or find a new place to stay.

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“AirCover has been designed directly into the Airbnb app and website, making it easy for you to contact an agent and resolve issues quickly. We created a team of specially trained agents for last-minute rebooking assistance,” Airbnb said. These Airbnb updates couldn’t be coming at a better time, with the world opening back due to the removal of COVID-19 restrictions.

There’s still no news of cryptocurrency on the app though. At the start of this year, Chesky posed a simple question on Twitter: “If Airbnb could launch anything in 2022, what would it be? After sorting through a huge 4,000 responses, there was one clear winner. Crypto payments came out on top, with lots of people clearly wanting the opportunity to pay for their next Airbnb apartment in a different way.

Any pivot to crypto payments would be a good move at a good time for Airbnb. As reported by Forbes in June last year, a travel booking site backed by the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, Binance, launched a blockchain-based competitor: Dtravel offers hosts and guests a decentralised platform to rent out rooms or homes.

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