Airbnb released a report about the impacts of their flexible search features supporting more sustainable travel trends in Europe.

The 16-page report, called “How Airnbnb Supports Sustainable Travel in Europe,” shows that they are diverting bookings away from Europe’s more saturated spots to support more sustainable options.

The company said that around 1 in 20 stays on Airbnb come from flexible search features. They launched the “Categories” feature in May 2022. That followed the initial release of the “I’m Flexible” feature in May 2021 and the “I’m (Even More) Flexible” that came in November 2021.

The Purpose of Airbnb’s Flexible Search Features

Airbnb initiated the flexible search tools to create a new way for travelers to search through mass tourism and discover homes and communities beyond the saturated spots.

The report on Airbnb’s impact on sustainable travel in Europe shows a shift in bookings from several of the top destinations down to the lesser known places. This applies to cities and neighborhoods within them, with the trend continuing despite tourism heading back to pre-pandemic levels.

Guests booking with the flexible tool also booked more locations outside of Airbnb’s top 400 destinations as compared to those using the traditional search. The option also allows for guests to search a location without a date. That created more bookings outside of the popular dates and leaned more toward weeknights.

“We want Airbnb to be part of the solution to challenges associated with the growth of tourism, and to support sustainable travel trends,” said Nathan Blecharczyk, Airbnb Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer.

“We are encouraged by the early insights into the impacts of flexible search, which are spreading guests and the benefits of tourism beyond busy tourist hotspots,” he added. “Airbnb will continue to invest in the growth of flexible search to support the responsible and sustainable growth of travel, while making it easier for anyone, anywhere to become a Host on Airbnb.”

The early analysis also highlights Europe’s acceleration of sustainable travel practices. Data shows that European guests drive the searches. The profiles of guests using Airbnb in Europe is higher than any other point in the company’s history.

The popularity of rural stays has also grown. It’s increased by 55% when compared to 2019 and 2022.

What do you think of the Airbnb flexible features? Have you used them to book your stays? Will you now, if you haven’t already? Let me know down in the comments!