Airbnb Japan has introduced new functions in line with the recent trends in the Japanese market. This is the first time that they have introduced features specific to Japan. Airbnb has just announced new features globally, but this time they aim to increase the number of Japanese guests by strengthening features for Japan.
First, a new "search by place/name" function has been added. A guest can easily search for listings near popular places, tourist attractions, stations or an airport in a destination For example, if you are visiting Lake Kawaguchi, you can find listings near Kawaguchiko Station or the tourist information center.
The sorting function has also been newly enhanced. Guests can sort listings by top-rated hosts, price, proximity and more. For distance, you can display the walking or driving distance from a listing you stay to a specific destination.
Additionally, an "amenity/equipment filter" has been added. This filter includes the top 10 most frequently searched items, such as kitchen, pool, open-air bath, and jacuzzi. Airbnb decided to add the function in response to the increasing group guests, such as with friends or with families.
Group bookings double in Japan
Airbnb globally announced upgrades in November this year, including ‘Guest Choice,’ a collection of 2 million highly rated accommodations, expansion of reviews and ratings, strengthened listing tabs and linkage of smart lock with a user account.
“As travel is gradually returning to normal, travel trends in Japan that are different from before the coronavirus have emerged,” Yasuyuki Tanabe, Airbnb Japan Country Manager said. “The introduced Japan-specific features are proofs that Airbnb is putting effort into the Japanese market.”
According to Airbnb, when comparing the number of bookings in the past 12 months with September 2019 and September 2023 as the base, the number of domestic bookings increased by 75%. Additionally, the number of trips by groups (four or more people) increased by 110%. Popular travel destinations include Ishigaki Island in Okinawa Prefecture and Nasu Town in Tochigi Prefecture, and Obanazawa City in Yamagata Prefecture has been booked for the first time.
“Compared to the past, people are choosing locations other than famous tourist spots, and we can find growing tendency to enjoy vacation rentals with family and friends,’ Tanabe said. “Japanese people seem to prefer to open-minded travel that releases mental stress.’'
The first celebrity host in Japan
Airbnb Japan also announced that famous Japanese fashion model Hikari Mori will become an Airbnb host and will offer a special one-time stay in a 150-year-old traditional house that is currently being renovated as a villa. Mori becomes the first celebrity host in Japan.
“I feel that the space I provide as a host will also connect to the image of the area,” Mori said. “As an Airbnb host, I think it will be an opportunity to learn more about Japan, so I would like to convey the beauty of Japan and the local cultures.'