New Year’s Eve 2014 saw 550,000 travellers use holiday room-letting website Airbnb in its biggest night to date.

Just five years ago, Airbnb reported 2,000 using its services on New Year’s Eve. For 2014, 91,000 guests used Airbnb for the first time to celebrate the new year.

Airbnb also revealed it had gained 22,000 new hosts, adding to the holiday rental site’s community which consists of over one million places to stay across the globe.

These figures follow the launch of the company’s One Less Stranger campaign, commencing December 30, where Airbnb pledged to give $10, or the equivalent in foreign currency, to 100,000 of its community members so long as they used the money for a unique act of kindness.

Wayfaring strangers

Acts of kindness from users include everything from planting flowers in a community garden to providing food to those in need, while Airbnb hopes that generating publicity for these gestures will inspire others to join its global movement.

Airbnb has marked the success of the campaign’s launch with an interactive map showcasing its activity across the globe, featuring real-time action illustrated from the One Less Stranger movement, global hotspots and guest check-ins.

“The New Year is always a good time to take a step back and evaluate where you are on your journey and what you aspire to do,” said Jonathan Mildenhall, CMO of Airbnb.

“For Airbnb, hospitality is personal and we are committed to spreading a sense of belonging far and wide. What better way to showcase that than by inviting our global community to extend a gesture of hospitality to a complete stranger?”

Within the map, activity around the One Less Stranger campaign is documented and can be viewed by clicking on designated icons to see what the Airbnb community is doing with the challenge in real time.