Airbnb Expands Beyond Home Rentals
Airbnb is expanding its product offering to include ‘Trips’, made up of Experience and Places. Read more about this here!
Published: Monday, November 21st 2016
Airbnb has been facing some serious resistance from governments, hotel chains, and home rental regulatory bodies around the world. Many are claiming that the service is destroying the hotel industry and increasing the cost of home and apartment rentals in cities where available homes are already scarce.
Diversifying its offerings appears to be the only means in which the company can continue to operate while it attempts to battle regulatory bodies on multiple fronts. So, the announcement of Trips comes as a welcome addition to the company's portfolio.
“Until now, Airbnb has been about homes,” said Brian Chesky, Airbnb CEO. “Today, Airbnb is launching Trips, bringing together where you stay, what you do, and the people you meet all in one place. We want to make travel magical again by putting people back at the heart of every trip.”
These experiences are handcrafted activities designed and led by local experts. This whether it's a single activity, like a Samurai Swordplay workshop, or an immersive multi-day experience, like learning about and driving classic cars in Malibu.
Airbnb says that experiences will offer unprecedented access and deep insights into communities and places that you wouldn’t otherwise come across. This could include Truffle Hunting in Tuscany or the grime music scene in London.
Trips launches with around 500 Experiences in 12 cities worldwide. These include Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami, Detroit, Havana, London, Paris, Florence, Nairobi, Cape Town, Tokyo and Seoul. Hosts in these cities - and a further 39 cities worldwide - can request to list their Experience.
The benefit of Experiences is that, in some situations, guests will also be able to give something back to communities through non-profit organisations. In Detroit, for example, Khali Sweeney provides an opportunity to go behind-the-scenes at his Downtown Boxing Gym that provides local children with an after-school program of healthy snacks, homework time, and boxing lessons.
Trips also includes something called Places.
Places (along with insider Guidebooks) has identified what they call "cultural experts" to recommend the hidden gems within their city. Find the perfect run from a marathoner, the best dive bar from a local mixologist, and the next great undiscovered restaurant from an up-and-coming chef. 100 Insider Guidebooks will be available at launch in six cities - Los Angeles, San Francisco, Havana, Nairobi, Detroit and Seoul - with more coming soon.
On a recent trip to Paris, this option showed up as part of a beta test of the Airbnb app and offered things such as foot tours of the French capital's street art to culinary experiences.
Airbnb has already disrupted the accommodation industry. With the launch of Trips, it looks to disrupt the tourism industry as well.