While the way of living and working changes, generating an upheaval in the travel industry, ‘International Day of People with Disabilities 2021’ is an opportunity for Airbnb to return to address the issue of accessibility and usability of spaces, with the launch of new product features and a campaign aimed at hosts and hosts of the platform which aims to increase the offer of homes with accessibility features. “It is a priority for us to make travel more accessible and to do so we have intervened on the entire experience, from the search and booking of accommodation, to the welcome offered by our community of hosts” comments Suzanne Edwards, Head of Hosting Accessibility Standards Airbnb.
After the awareness campaign ‘Free2Travel‘, conceived by Diversity to promote an increasingly inclusive culture of travel and hospitality and the partnership with Fish, Airbnb reiterates its commitment to more inclusive tourism and in the recent product update it dedicates ample space to the topic of accessibility, introducing a series of features and new tools that allow people with disabilities to find and book accommodations and activities suited to their needs in a much easier way.
Here’s what changes on the platform. A team dedicated to checking accessibility: from 9 November, all listings with accessibility features are manually checked by a specialized Airbnb team that verifies all the information entered by and by hosts. To date, the Airbnb team of agents has already reviewed and confirmed the accuracy of more than 100,000 accessibility features spread across 25,000 properties around the world.
New search filters: The 13 accessibility search filters have been updated, made more prominent and more presence, and made more detailed, to help travelers find accommodation that suits their needs more easily. The “Large entrance to bedroom” feature has been replaced by “Entrance to bedroom over 81 cm wide”.
Accessibility of experiences: since many experiences on the platform already have accessibility characteristics, 11 filters have been inserted that allow you to easily find, for example, experiences also offered in Italian sign language, experiences that do not require the presence of stairs or steps, or that allow free access to carers of people with disabilities. Also in this case, the descriptions will be manually examined by a specialized team, which will check their quality.
Airbnb Travel Credits for Affordable Homes Airbnb recently launched an initiative aimed at the host community to further increase the supply of homes with accessibility features: from November 20 to December 30, 2021, to hosts the first thousand listings they will have added certain accessibility features verified by a dedicated team to guarantee their accuracy, an Airbnb travel credit of 50 euros will be recognized for each correctly updated ad.
An initiative that has the dual objective of making the choice of those with a disability ever wider and deciding to stay in a house, preferring it to a hotel and at the same time stimulating the sensitivity of the community of hosts who, with a few and simple precautions, can offer a unique travel experience to a much larger community of users. For terms and conditions and more information, visit airbnb.com/free2travel.
Promote an inclusive culture: among the tools made available to all those involved in hospitality, Airbnb, in collaboration with diversity, has also launched ‘The guide to accessible hospitality‘, written by the journalist Valentina Tomirotti, alias Pepitosa in Carrozza.
The guide, created with the aim of promoting accessible tourism that looks at everyone and everyone, contains some useful tips for those who find themselves hosting a person with disabilities. Here are some of them: contact all the people who have booked the stay, without distinction; do not give ‘roles’ to and to guests if there is no certainty: the accompanying person is not necessarily an assistant; offer your help without overdoing it and do not insist if it is refused.