US: Airbnb has launched its Trips service, which enables guests to book “immersive” travel experiences.
Trips allows Airbnb guests to book city tours, read peer
reviews and recommendations, and meet with locals.
The feature was announced by Airbnb CEO and co-founder Brian Chesky at Airbnb Open, the company's annual conference, last week.
Trips aims to bring together "where you stay, what you do and the people you meet all in one place". The service has been tested over the past few months and allows travellers to enjoy unique local travel experiences, for example violin making in Paris and marathon running in Kenya, using the Airbnb app.
The tours and experiences, which can be multi-day activities or one-off events such as concerts, are all hosted by locals. Tours can be tailored to a traveller's interests, including food, fashion, music, sport and history. Users are able to choose from around 500 experiences in 12 cities including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami, Detroit, Havana, London, Paris, Florence, Nairobi, Cape Town, Tokyo and Seoul, and more local experts are expected to offer tours and experiences in a further 39 cities across the world. Ten per cent of the experiences are aimed to focus on "social impact", the proceeds from which will go to not-for-profit community organisations. The prices vary depending on the experience, with half of them priced at under $200.
Chesky also revealed Airbnb's planned expansion into flight offerings and other services in the future.
Airbnb has also teamed up with US media giant Hearst to produce a 32-page bi-annual magazine featuring content written by hosts.
Airbnb Magazine is the result of a partnership with Hearst's chief content officer Joanna Coles, who has been working on the venture for the past 18 months. Coles said: "What it does, unlike any other magazine out there, is that it taps into the expertise of you guys. Everything in it is sourced from hosts and regular travellers."