Airbnb has launched a new safety product for solo travelers in Hindi. The announcement comes amidst the solo travel trend that’s surging in India, with growth of about 120 percent in Q2 2022, when compared to Q2 2019.
As the “Live and Work Anywhere” phenomenon has taken off among people who are able to work remotely, the platform has become increasingly integral to solo travelers. According to Airbnb internal data, approximately 30 percent of domestic and international bookings between Q2 2021 to Q2 2022 were by solo travelers from India. Overall, solo domestic travel amongst Indians has grown by about 120 percent in Q2 2022, when compared to Q2 2019.
Tara Bunch, Airbnb’s Global Head of Operations said, “The safety of our community – including solo travelers – is one of our top priorities and at the very heart of everything we do. As part of this, we’re rolling out a safety product in India that aims to allow solo travelers to experience all that the country has to offer with added peace of mind. We’re very much committed to helping travelers explore India’s world-renowned natural beauty, culture and exceptional culinary scene with confidence.”
Solo Travel Product Features
The Solo Traveler in-app experience is specifically designed to better support safe solo traveling on Airbnb. When a solo guest books a private or shared room reservation, it will activate a specialized in-app experience, starting with supplying the traveler with expert tips they may want to try to help stay safe when traveling alone. Today this product will expand to Hindi – making it only the second language after English where this product has expanded.
Airbnb safety product for solo travelers
The key component of this new feature is the ability for the solo traveler to easily share, with one-touch, 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 traveler will see automated prompts by Airbnb suggesting questions to ask the Host about the listing and surrounding neighborhood. These suggested questions stem from research with experienced solo travelers 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 and Hindi-speaking guests. Airbnb plans to expand it to additional languages as it assesses the results from the Hindi expansion. At this time, it will focus on bookings by solo travelers to private rooms or shared spaces. It plans to introduce this feature to additional languages in the coming year, as well as expand it to include entire home listings as well.
The aim is that this new product will better equip solo travelers on Airbnb to be more informed travelers by getting their pre-trip questions answered, giving them a better understanding of their surroundings, and informing the important people in their lives about where they will be and for how long.
Other in-app products like the 24-hour Safety Line are available to all travelers during active reservations. If a guest ever feels unsafe, they’ll get priority access to specially-trained safety agents, day or night.
Its Local Emergency Services in-app feature is also available to all users 24/7, regardless of whether or not they are in the middle of a reservation. With one-touch, this feature quickly connects the user to local emergency services – which could be particularly helpful for solo travelers who are traveling abroad in countries where they do not know the phone number off-hand for local police.
Lastly, all users have the option to add one Emergency Contact to their profile.