Airbnb Makes Group Travel Easy with Global Launch of Split Payments
Sharing a trip with friends can create some of the most unforgettable adventures and memories. Sharing the bill at the end? That’s a different story. Between determining who paid for what, how to split evenly and adding up every last cost, group travel payments can easily make anyone’s head spin. Roughly 4 out of 5 American travelers (79%) have been on multiple group trips in the last five years, according to a recent Airbnb survey conducted online by DKC Analytics among 2,000 people*, and that’s why today, Airbnb is becoming the first accommodation provider to build and implement a seamless, global split payments feature to travelers around the world.
At the end of 2016, Brian Chesky asked consumers: “If @Airbnb could launch anything in 2017, what would it be?” One of the top requests was group payments. We heard consumers loud and clear, and with the launch of split payments, we’re delivering on that promise. We’ve tested this in recent months with over 80,000 groups successfully using the feature from all over the world in nearly 175 countries, using over 44 different currencies.
We are excited this tool will help solve a problem that has plagued many groups while traveling together. For those that have traveled with a group, two-fifths (38%) have experienced not receiving all the money owed from a group trip. Of these people, a whopping 43 percent have lost $1,000 or more in group trip repayments, and a stunning 18 percent of the most frequent group trip takers* report losses of $10,000 or more. Group trips often times mean one person fronting big costs. Fifty-two percent of group travelers report they’ve fronted $500 or more, and almost a third (31%) have fronted more than $1,000.
Now, the split payments feature will ease the financial burden on group trip organizers, and alleviate the pain for travelers to front costs associated with booking. Airbnb guests won’t have to chase their friends and family after a trip to pay them back. It’s simple to use — when a trip organizer requests to book a listing that qualifies for splitting payments, the reservation is put in an “awaiting payment” state, with the organizer’s portion of the booking charged on their credit card while the host’s calendar is blocked. The organizer can hold a reservation for up to 72 hours, giving time to others in the group to log on to Airbnb and pay their portion. You can learn more here.
This year, we have seen group travel surge. New Year’s Eve 2016 was our biggest night yet for group stays, and over the course of last year, 15.5 million groups took trips on Airbnb*, with an average stay of 3.5 nights. As social travel continues to grow in 2018, you won’t have your family holiday travel plans or New Year’s buddymoon end up like this:
The ability to split payments is just part of our commitment to make group travel easier. In using the split payments tool, groups will have even more listings to choose from that often fall outside of what an organizer can afford to reserve if they had to front the total cost.
With this newfound freedom, we hope some of these popular destinations and listings for group travel will inspire friends and families for their next adventure: