Digital nomads are a special breed. Often perceived as twenty-somethings with an Instagram feed to fill, the reality is quite different. Today’s digital nomads can be of any age, and while travel is important to them, so is knuckling down and working on their latest project or fulfilling work for their clients.
A leading light in the sharing economy business world, Airbnb already pivoted in April to focus on long-term stays, and increase the number of hosts willing to offer their properties for months, rather than days.
And now, it is doubling down on this approach after seeing a great deal of success. Airbnb says more than six million active listings on the platform accept monthly stays, and more than half of those listings offer discounts for extended trips. While Airbnb is not providing specifics, it states that guest bookings for monthly stays have “increased significantly” since April.
Now, to facilitate its new focus on long-term stays and digital nomads, Airbnb has updated its site and app to in most territories to make it easier for nomads to find accommodation that will last them for their entire visit.
Some argue that Airbnb has a way to go before it can offer the best solution. Startups like Anyplace were set up for long-term stays from the outset, whereas Airbnb is designed for the short term, an industry that has a decent amount of competition from the likes of hotel/hostel/home comparison sites like Trivago, and community-led platforms such as Couchsurfing.
But the fact Airbnb is even focusing on digital nomads is encouraging, and if they succeed in making the experience as seamless as possible, they will likely reap the benefits. Nomads are traveling – safely and for good reason – while others continue to stay locked down or isolated, and that in itself means every travel startup and company needs to take our awesome fucking lifestyle seriously if they’re going to survive.