New data from Airbnb suggests changes in Kiwis' holiday priorities

New research from YouGov commissioned by Airbnb appears to show a change in what New Zealanders are looking for when it comes to accommodation and experiences due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The way Kiwis travel, work and live may be undergoing "the biggest revolution ever" according to survey results, with the shift to working from home meaning people can essentially work from anywhere.

The survey found 41 percent of New Zealanders would like to live somewhere different from where their current workplace is located, preferring to travel there only occasionally. 

Almost half - 48 percent - of Kiwi respondents said they now have more flexibility to travel wherever they want, with 60 percent saying post-pandemic, they'll be travelling less for work and more for leisure than they did before. 

In terms of Airbnb hosting, 27 percent said they're considering renting out their home to fund their own travel in the near future, with 14 percent saying they would be keen to rent their property full-time. 

When asked about the ways they might live, work, and travel in the post-pandemic future, taking more domestic trips emerged as the most popular response with 47 percent of survey participants keen to travel around Aotearoa. Thirty-eight percent said they would be more like to take a three or four-day weekend trip and 30 percent were keen on embarking on more international getaways.

When planning a trip, New Zealanders ranked price, flexibility and having "a special experience" as their top three most important considerations. 

Kiwis are also embracing hosting as a means of generating income and helping to funnel much needed tourism dollars into their local communities. According to internal Airbnb data, new Kiwi Hosts who started listing their homes since the start of the pandemic in March, 2020, have collectively earned more than NZ$42 million or an average of more than NZ$8000.

Speaking to Newshub in a video interview which can be viewed above, Susan Wheeldon, Airbnb's Country Manager for New Zealand and Australia, described changes the company has made in response to the global customer survey.

Of the largest reviews took place in the area of accessibility: Making sure properties listing themselves as fully accessible to people with disabilities are 100 percent accurate. 

Hosts submitted photos of their accessibility features, which are then manually reviewed by a specialised team of Airbnb agents. To date, Airbnb agents have reviewed and confirmed the accuracy of 100,000 accessibility features in 25,000 homes around the world. 

With remote working more common, Airbnb also verified Wi-Fi speeds for properties which had Wi-Fi listed as a feature.

This year guests searching Airbnb globally have searched for properties with Wi-Fi more than 288 million times. Hosts can test their listing's internet connection from the Airbnb app and have their Wi-Fi speed verified. 

Global Airbnb trends in 2021:

● 30 percent of stays have been long-term (28 days or longer)

● In the past year, more than 100,000 guests globally have stayed continuously on Airbnb for at least three months

● 45 percent of nights booked on Airbnb are for at least one week 

● Families are traveling during the week, with the most growth in stays on Monday and Tuesday nights. 

The most in-demand feature of a property remains unchanged. Everyone, from travellers generally, to families, to longer-stay remote-workers, wants to be able to bring their pets.