Article written by guest writer Kecia Lynn
What's the Latest Development?
San Francisco-based Airbnb, the site that made its name by allowing travelers to rent couch space in a person's home, today rolled out a new search feature, "Neighborhoods," that provides details on specific areas of major cities. Initially available for seven locations, including London and New York, the feature allows you to specify the type of neighborhood you're looking for ("Peace and Quiet", "Touristy", etc.) and then gives you information about places to stay, eat, shop, and so on, as well as feedback from residents of that neighborhood.
What's the Big Idea?
According to Airbnb executives, the idea came about because of the amount of time and energy travelers were spending on neighborhood research prior to visiting a city. In addition to Neighborhoods, the company has launched a "Local Lounges" feature that partners with local coffee shops to offer travelers free wi-fi, travel guidebooks, and a friendly welcome. Also today, another travel site, Hipmunk, launched a service that focuses on providing context about hotels and other places to stay...including listings featured on Airbnb.
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