Airbnb Wants to Help You Travel Closer to Home As Coronavirus Restrictions Ease (Video)

Airbnb understands that travel looks different this summer — and it's here to help.

The travel industry has certainly been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, but now Airbnb has a plan to encourage people to travel again in the safest way possible.

Airbnb announced on Thursday that it is launching a new campaign to boost domestic travel and local economies by asking people to travel close to home.

People riding horses with mountains in the background

The company's new engagement program works with local authorities, charities, and tourism boards from all around the world to engage Airbnb users to visit lesser-known national parks, destinations, trails, and rivers near their communities. The company is working with entities such as National Park Foundation, Discover Puerto Rico, Visit Denmark, Zhejiang Tourism Homestay Inn Federation, The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and Aviation, Tourism KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa and many more.

As many people are looking towards their future travel plans once the lockdown is over in their local communities, safety and combating the spread of coronavirus long-term is also at the forefront of travelers' minds. A survey by Airbnb found that travelers "prefer to stay within a day's drive for their first trip once lockdown restrictions lift," according to the announcement by Airbnb. Even though the pandemic has caused a slight downturn for travel companies, Airbnb also found that it's beginning to recover, with more nights booked on Airbnb between May 17 and June 6 of 2020 than the same time period in 2019.

In order to help, Airbnb will be updating its website and apps to encourage guests to find nearby destinations and getaways. Road trips to national parks and beaches seem to be trending the highest, with the most popular destinations including Big Bear Lake, Calif.; Miramar Beach and Panama City Beach, Fla.; the Smoky Mountains; and Hilton Head Island, S.C.

Computer and phone showing new Airbnb option

Not only will Airbnb continuously update its app to encourage close-by travel, it has also implemented new sanitation and cleaning guidelines to help hosts and guests feel secure in their booking. Hosts who follow Airbnb's new program will receive a special highlight on their listings to let bookers know that they are dedicated to cleanliness.

More information about Airbnb's new local travel campaign can be found on the Airbnb website.

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