Airbnb's new 'Trips' feature will include guided tours, nights out with locals, and meetups, in a bid to make travel 'magical again.
The new initiative was rolled out in LA by CEO Brian Chesky and aims to immerse travelers in communities around the world by offering them localised experiences such as violin making in Paris and marathon running in Kenya.
The feature will launch across 12 cities in its initial phase and is comprised of three parts: Experiences, Places and Homes; with a Flights and Services feature to be added in the future.
Chesky said the global accommodation site was excited to extend its offering beyond accommodation.
“Until now, Airbnb has been about homes,” Chesky said in a press statement.
“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.”
Let's take a look at how it works.
Trips launches with around 500 Experiences in 12 cities worldwide, including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami, Detroit, Havana, London, Paris, Florence, Nairobi, Cape Town, Tokyo and Seoul. From today, budding hosts in those and a further 39 cities worldwide can request to list their Experience.
A number of Experiences will also be available where guests can give something back to communities through non-profit organizations. 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.
As well as Insider Guidebooks, Places includes over one million individual recommendations worldwide from Airbnb’s home hosts, recommending their favourite hidden gems in their neighborhoods, from cafes and restaurants to parks and other local attractions. A partnership with restaurant booking platform, Resy, will make it possible for people in future to book tables at great local restaurants directly through the Airbnb app.
Airbnb has also struck an exclusive partnership with Detour to offer access to amazing experiential audio walking tours allowing people to discover neighborhoods in a totally unique and authentic way. At launch, audio tours will initially be available for Los Angeles with San Francisco, Paris, London, Tokyo and Seoul to follow by Spring 2017.
With Trips, Airbnb also wants to make travel more social, helping connect the thousands of Airbnb users in a city on any given night. Meet ups within Places will let local businesses host one-off or regular events for Airbnb guests and locals to connect with each other.