Airbnb 2024 Summer Release – An APPetite For Group Travel And Personal Profile Data

Thibault Masson

Updated on:

Airbnb 2024 summer release - host side

In its 2024 Summer Release, Airbnb introduces features that, at first glance, seem designed to capture Vrbo’s stronghold in group travel. However, the deeper strategy is both more ambitious and subtle: Airbnb is leveraging these new tools to increase the collection of detailed user profiles dramatically. The new Guest profile details also showcase this appetite.

In this summer release, hosts will also note notable improvements in earnings reports and some control over AI-created photo tours.

Finally, we’ve compiled all the AI-related announcements from the Airbnb 2024 Summer Release.

Group Travel: Not just about stealing Vrbo’s crown

Airbnb is targeting Vrbo’s main market segment: group travel. With the unveiling of the Shared Wishlist feature during its 2024 Summer Release, Airbnb introduces a concept very similar to Vrbo’s established Trip Boards.

Accordingly, Airbnb’s financial results for the first quarter of 2024 highlight the company’s appeal to group travelers:

  • More than 80% of their bookings are for 2 or more people.
  • In North America, bookings for groups larger than 5 have increased by 15% compared to Q1 2023, making it the fastest-growing type of booking for the past four quarters.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the vacation rental market landscape was characterized by Airbnb’s dominance in urban destinations, primarily catering to couples seeking city breaks in the US or Europe, while Vrbo led in beach, rural, and mountain destinations, appealing mainly to families and groups.

When cities faced lockdowns during the pandemic, Airbnb was compelled to expand its presence in non-urban areas aggressively. Although individual hosts generally favored Airbnb, vacation rental managers showed a preference for Vrbo.

Despite these challenges, Airbnb has expanded its offerings in both supply and demand. It now features large houses, traditionally a stronghold of Vrbo. Moreover, Vrbo’s technical issues have prompted some hosts and managers to shift towards Airbnb to optimize their occupancy.

Now, Airbnb is enhancing its services for group travelers by facilitating better trip planning, enabling them to share details about their accommodations, and improving communication with their hosts.

Here are the features releases to make group travel easy on Airbnb 

Shared Wishlists:

This feature allows users to create a collaborative wishlist of their favorite properties. Once you share this wishlist with your travel group, everyone can add properties, make notes, and vote on their preferred listings. The app automatically generates a shared wishlist with the homes you’ve all selected, streamlining the decision-making process.

airbnb shared wishlist

Group Messaging in the New Messaging tab

Communication among group members, including the host, is now more streamlined with the revamped Messages tab. This feature supports group messaging, allowing everyone involved in the trip to stay in contact from the initial planning stages to final checkout. The redesigned interface consolidates messages from guests, hosts, and customer support in one place, making it easier to navigate and search through conversations. The addition of emoji reactions and AI-suggested quick replies enhances interaction and helps hosts respond to common queries efficiently.

Airbnb ai-powered group messaging

Trip Invitations

After booking a trip, you can now send digital postcards to invite others to join. These postcards are beautifully illustrated by artists from around the world, adding a personal and creative touch to your invitations. Each invite includes all the essential trip details, such as the reservation specifics, full address, Wi-Fi password, and check-in instructions, ensuring everyone is well-informed and ready for the trip.

Airbnb trip inviations

Airbnb’s appetite for personal profile data illustrated by Group Travel features and new Guest Profile setup 

Airbnb’s strategy extends beyond simply making group travel easier; it’s about gathering detailed information about its users to offer a more personalized experience. 

Better group travel feature to get everyone in the group to create an Airbnb profile

 With the Summer 2024 Releases, Airbnb has also revamped how guests can provide their personal information, aiming to gather more comprehensive profiles.

This focus on data collection is particularly relevant for group bookings, where typically only one person books the accommodation while the other travelers might not have connected their Airbnb accounts. By encouraging all travelers to create and connect their accounts, Airbnb not only expands its user base but also gathers richer data on each individual.

Revamped Traveler profile collects even more personal data

Airbnb new personal profile setup

A few months ago, we commented on how the new “Host Passport” initiative collected a range of data about hosts, from musical tastes to educational backgrounds. The 2024 Airbnb Summer Release is basically launching the same detailed profile on the Guest side.
Airbnb allows guests to create rich and detailed profiles that include a wide array of personal information. This includes their occupation, languages spoken, place of residence, educational background, and the decade they were born in. Guests can also share personal interests such as their favorite song from high school, current obsessions, fun facts, seemingly useless skills, and a hypothetical title for their biography.

Furthermore, profiles can include lifestyle details like time-consuming hobbies, pet ownership, breakfast preferences, special things they do for guests, and unique aspects of their home. Guests are also encouraged to share their interests from a list that includes architecture, food, history, and more, which helps in finding common ground with other guests and hosts.

Additionally, guests can choose to display places they’ve visited, offering a glimpse into their travel history.

More personal data + more services = The need for an AI-powered matching concierge

Airbnb will probably use this treasure trove of personal data to tailor its services through the Airbnb Concierge, an AI-powered system designed to match users with services like dining experiences, car rentals, and long-term housing based on their preferences.

This precise matching process aims to enhance the user experience significantly, transforming Airbnb into a more resourceful platform, similar to how Facebook operates by leveraging user data. Yet, while Facebook sells this data to advertisers, Airbnb could keep it for itself to sell more of its own services.

This strategic use of detailed profiles enables Airbnb to align its offerings closely with user needs, optimizing their experience and increasing the company’s revenue potential.

Other new features for hosts:

Earnings dashboard

Airbnb has updated its Earnings dashboard with new features that offer property managers and hosts enhanced financial insights and streamlined report management:

Key Enhancements:

  1. Interactive Performance Charts: These charts provide monthly and yearly views, allowing managers to filter by individual listings, which is crucial for those handling multiple properties. They offer detailed insights into past earnings and future projections, facilitating strategic planning.
  2. Automated Earnings Reports: A newly introduced hub simplifies the access and download of monthly or annual statements, which include breakdowns by listing and payout method. This feature is particularly beneficial for managers needing to track finances across various properties and payment channels.

Functional Improvements:

  • Earnings Overview: Managers can analyze earnings historically and forecast future income, viewing data either monthly or yearly.
  • Detailed Analysis: The dashboard includes statistics to help understand trends and performance over time, aiding in pricing and promotional decisions.

Access and Management of Reports:

  • Automatic Generation: Reports are automatically generated at the end of each period, available at the beginning of the next. Monthly and yearly reports help keep financial tracking up-to-date without manual intervention.
  • Easy Export: Managers can export earnings reports as PDFs directly from the dashboard, facilitating documentation and reporting.

More control over the AI-powered photo tour

A few months back, Airbnb rolled out an innovative feature that automatically rearranged listing photos to craft a virtual property tour. However, hosts initially had no control over this process. Now, with updates to the Listings tab, hosts have gained the ability to directly influence the creation and editing of these photo tours, enabling them to better showcase their spaces.

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