April 9: A chat with the head of Airbnb Experiences
CEO Brian Chesky kicked off this week’s talk with an update on the state of global travel: 4 billion people around the world are now staying at home, borders continue to close, and many airlines have grounded their flights. The travel industry is struggling, and we know hosts are feeling the impact.
But there’s still a lot to be hopeful about, especially when we look at what’s happening right here in our community. From offering accommodations to COVID-19 responders to sharing the magic of Airbnb Experiences from your homes, so many of you continue to find ways to host and connect.
Brian talked about all of this and more—here are some of the key takeaways from his latest Host Update:
An exciting milestone for our Frontline Stays program
Just two weeks ago, we launched our Frontline Stays program to offer accommodations for healthcare professionals responding to COVID-19 around the world. And we have been so inspired by the incredible response from our host community. As of today, you’ve already offered over 100,000 places to stay for COVID-19 responders.
The Frontline Stays program is just one more example of the tenacity and generosity of Airbnb hosts. We’re incredibly grateful for all you do.
Clarity around our Superhost Relief Fund eligibility requirements
We’re happy to share that the Superhost Relief Fund is expanding by an extra $7 million USD, bringing it to a total of $17 million USD of support. Many of you are wondering why hosts with more than two listings aren’t eligible to apply. The spirit of this program is to help people who host in their primary homes, and we’ll be prioritizing hosts based on their tenure with Airbnb and how much their earnings have declined due to COVID-19. We’re planning to invite eligible hosts by May 15 and distribute grants by May 31.
In the meantime, we’re finding other ways to help our diverse community of hosts, starting with auto-granting Superhost status in July for anyone who was a Superhost in our April 1 assessment. That means if you were a Superhost in April, you’ll maintain your status regardless of your cancellation or booking rate. Learn more about the Superhost Relief Fund
Support for hosts who have Flexible cancellation policies
Last week, we announced that we’ll be investing $250 million USD to share in the cost of COVID-19-related cancellations. For hosts impacted by these cancellations under our extenuating circumstances policy, we’ll pay 25% of what you would have received through your own cancellation policy.
Since these cash disbursements depend on the amount you would have retained under your cancellation policy, those of you with Flexible and Moderate policies may be less likely to benefit from them. But we’re working on other ways to support you. We've rolled out a new search filter so guests can find your listings more easily, and we're making your listings more visible in other ways, too. We’re seeing signs that this is what guests want—the share of bookings with a Flexible policy is now 15% higher than it was before COVID-19.
A new way to connect: Online Experiences
After pausing Airbnb Experiences last month, we heard from countless hosts who wanted to keep hosting and who believed they could offer a similar level of connection online. So we’re excited to announce the launch of Online Experiences—an idea that came directly from hosts! Online Experiences will allow hosts to earn money, share their passions, and connect with others, whether it’s an individual hoping to learn a new skill or a group of colleagues doing a team-building exercise. We’re also partnering with local organizations to bring Online Experiences to senior citizens who may be feeling lonely and isolated right now. Hosts are already offering Online Experiences like magic lessons, cooking classes, guided meditations, and more.
Interested in hosting an Online Experience? We'll be offering hosts personalized support services for curating, capturing, and sharing their online content. Learn more at Airbnb.com/OnlineHost
Let’s stay connected
Your feedback has been more important than ever as we navigate this unprecedented time. So much of our response has been guided by your personal stories, questions, and suggestions, and we’re going to keep finding ways to connect with you.
We’ll continue to hold listening sessions with hosts around the world, and we’ll be bringing you regular Host Updates with Brian at Airbnb.com/live.
Thanks for tuning in!
Information contained in this article may have changed since publication.
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