Airbnb starts selling excursions under new Trips platform

Airbnb starts selling excursions under new Trips platform

Airbnb will start selling single-day and multi-day
excursions, as the peer-to-peer accommodations-listing service looks to broaden
its business.

The closely held company, which made the announcement at its
annual Airbnb Open conference in Los Angeles on Thursday, will sell the
excursions under a new platform called Trips, which will include categories
called Experiences, Homes and Places.

The Experience category will have single-day and multi-day
excursions, with half of the excursions costing less than $200, Airbnb CEO
Brian Chesky said in his keynote presentation. Airbnb is listing about 500
Experiences in 12 cities — Detroit, London, Paris, Nairobi, Havana, San
Francisco, Cape Town, Florence, Miami, Seoul, Tokyo and Los Angeles — and will
be available in 50 cities by next year.

The company is collaborating with local experts to lead such
excursions, ranging from a food anthropologist giving interactive tours of an
East Los Angeles marketplace to a jazz pianist leading a music-based Havana
excursion.

“These aren’t tours,” said Chesky. “You
actually participate, you immerse.”

Chesky estimated that about 10% of the experiences will be
provided by Airbnb lodging hosts themselves.

Airbnb is also collaborating with Detour, which produces
audio travel podcasts, to offer audio walking tours. Additionally, Airbnb will
soon allow restaurant reservations to be booked through the Airbnb app, Chesky
added.

The Places category are free digital guidebooks. For
example, Airbnb offers a “My Malibu” guidebook authored by champion
surfer Kelly Slater.

And, Airbnb may start flight-booking services. Chesky
introduced a feature called Trip Platform that included flights and services
categories, though he didn’t elaborate on what would be offered and when.

Chesky said that Airbnb had been working on expanding into
excursions listings for about two years. The company earlier this year
introduced a pilot program called City Hosts, which was described at the time
as “multi-day trips curated by local, knowledgeable hosts.” The tours
had been offered to a select group of Airbnb users and included 83 experiences
in eight destinations.

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