Online rental marketplace Airbnb has introduced 50 new features in response to customer feedback.
The changes include being able to pay over a period of time, more transparent check-in instructions and lower fees for monthly stays.
Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky outlined the measures in a lengthy Twitter thread on Wednesday, while announcing a renewed focus on private room rentals.
Labelled Airbnb Rooms, the app will launch a range of features designed to encourage travellers to consider renting a single room in a house to save money and have new experiences on the move.
Travellers will be able to search specifically for private rooms and see how much they would save over renting a whole flat or house, and a new set of filters lets them see only rooms with a private en-suite bathroom.
The company will also flag which private rooms do not have an internal or external lock, allowing guests to ensure that they have a minimum level of privacy before booking.
In late 2022, social media users shared experiences and jokes about being asked to perform increasingly ridiculous tasks by their hosts, from hoovering the carpets to walking the dog, as part of their checkout routine.
Chesky accepted the basis of the critiques in November, writing: “You shouldn’t have to do unreasonable checkout tasks, such as stripping the beds, doing the laundry, or vacuuming.
“But we think it’s reasonable to turn off the lights, throw food in the trash, and lock the doors – just as you would when leaving your own home.”
Airbnb will now funnel hosts’ requests through a more standard series of checkboxes, making it easy for them to request common checkout actions such as putting the bins outside or returning the keys.
Hosts can also leave clear checkout instructions on the listing page, like mentioning that they want guests to take out the rubbish and put dirty laundry in the hamper, so guests can see them before booking.
Guests will also receive a notification with checkout instructions toward the end of their stay. If guests think the requests are excessive, they can say so in the review, and listings with consistent low ratings from “unreasonable chores” will be taken down.
Other features include improved map search, easier ways to build to your wish list, and reduced fees for stays over three months.
Airbnb has also partnered with Klarna to allow people to pay for their booking in instalments.