Airbnb collaborates with what3words

Airbnb and what3words have announced a collaboration to support holiday properties in rural areas.

The partnership aims to make it easier for people staying in remote areas, like the Scottish lowlands or around any of the UK’s 15 national parks, to find the location of their holiday property.

What3words said that the location of these areas can be challenging to describe, traditional addresses don’t always identify the correct entrance, and postcodes can cover a broad area.

The company has divided the world into 3 metre squares and given each square a unique combination of 3 random words: a what3words address. With this technology, Airbnb hosts can direct guests to the exact entrance of their stay.

“From remote cabins to rural barns, Airbnb provides endless opportunities for adventure across the UK, particularly for those staycationing this summer,” said Amanda Cupples, general manager for Northern Europe, Airbnb. “Through Airbnb’s collaboration with what3words, Hosts on Airbnb can provide guests with an unforgettable stay, without worrying about navigation.”

Cupples added: “And, with rural travel accounting for almost half of British Airbnb bookings for summer 2021, Brits are more excited than ever to discover these off-the-beaten path destinations.”

What3words and Airbnb will also launch an education event for hosts about how the location technology works.

Chris Sheldrick, co-founder and chief executive at what3words, said: “We already see a huge number of Hosts on Airbnb using what3words for a smooth arrival and check-in process. Guests want to arrive relaxed and on-time, and Hosts want the stay to start like this too. But Covid-19 has brought a new dynamic to this. Having a tool like what3words enables people to address and list any part of their property on Airbnb. It’s amazing to see inspired and entrepreneurial Hosts maximising their properties and turning them into unique accommodation.”

Last month, Mountain Rescue England and Wales (MREW) questioned the accuracy of location sharing application what3words.

The organisation shared a database from the past 12 months with the BBC, which revealed 45 incorrect locations across England and Wales which had been received by rescuers from either injured or lost walkers.

But what3words told the broadcaster that human error was a possibility with any kind of tool.

"We regularly check in with the emergency services that use the system to receive feedback,” the company said. “The overwhelming response is positive, and, time and time again we have been humbled to see stories where our technology has turned out to be life-saving.

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