DALLAS ( Associated Press) — Airbnb is reviving individual room rentals, in a nod to its early days and the realization that renting an entire home can be too expensive for many travelers, especially younger ones.
The short-term rental company on Wednesday launched a new offering called Airbnb Rooms. Guests can rent a room in the same house or apartment as their host at prices Airbnb says will be around $67 per night.
“It’s a recognition that travelers care more about affordability than they did a year ago,” CEO Brian Chesky said.
Airbnb has always offered individual rooms in houses and apartments. According to the company, the new offering will offer more biographical information about hosts, and users will be able to sort listings to find out details such as whether the bedroom door is locked or whether the bathroom is private or shared.
It’s a throwback to the original concept Chesky and Joe Gebbia, Airbnb’s current president, had in 2007, when they hosted guests in their San Francisco apartment to help pay the rent. Since then, Airbnb listings have moved to entire homes, and prices have risen, to an average daily rate of $153 at the end of last year.
“This will be especially popular with the next generation of travelers,” Chesky said of the new offering. “The average Gen Z traveler wants to pay less than $100 a night.” Generation Z is usually defined as those born roughly between the mid-1990s and 2010.
It is an interesting tactic. During the pandemic, Airbnb put hotels out of business because travelers wanted rentals where they could avoid contact with strangers. Its rival Vrbo, owned by Expedia, continues to run ads that claim to only rent entire homes.