Los Angeles - Airbnb has unveiled the most significant development in its eight year history as it moves beyond accommodation with the launch of Trips.
Bringing together where you stay, what you do and the people you meet all in one place, Trips is a people-powered platform designed to make travel both easy and magical. Trips launches with three key areas - Experiences, Places and Homes, with Flights and Services to be added in the future.
Trips will make travel magical again by immersing travellers in communities around the world. Get unprecedented access to local passions and interests, like violin making in Paris or marathon running in Kenya; discover the hidden gems that only locals know about via personal recommendations; and socialise with other travellers and locals at exciting events. Add that to three million bookable homes, and Airbnb becomes the one place to go for a truly different kind of travel experience.
Having already transformed where people stay when they travel through people-powered hospitality, Airbnb is taking this same people-focused approach to the rest of the trip and, in doing so, providing a way for people to make money from their passions and interests.
“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.”
Experiences are handcrafted activities designed and led by local experts - be it a single activity like a Samurai Swordplay workshop or an immersive multi-day experience like learning about and driving classic cars in Malibu. Experiences offer unprecedented access and deep insights into communities and places that you wouldn’t otherwise come across, such as Truffle Hunting in Tuscany or the grime music scene in London.
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.
Places - Guidebooks, Meet ups and Audio Walks
Trips brings places to life through the people that live there, reflecting the recommendations of hundreds of thousands of Airbnb hosts, neighbourhood insiders and local influencers and is an alternative to aggregated tourist lists that funnel people to the same places.
With Insider Guidebooks, Airbnb has identified cultural experts and neighbourhood insiders 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.
With three million homes available to book across 191 countries, Airbnb offers the largest and most diverse range of unique accommodation options for travellers which will now be available to book alongside Experiences in available cities.
Making travel easy
Booking travel today can be complicated and stressful. With Trips, Airbnb aims to make it easy with one app to book most of your travel needs. Trip Itinerary is a new feature that brings together everything the traveller needs to know into one simple timeline, with the ability to easily book and add Experiences or things to do.
Over time, this capability will evolve based on machine learning to dynamically suggest personalised and contextual, i.e. based on location, recommendations during a Trip. Airbnb’s vision is to ultimately cater for every aspect of a trip, making it both easy and magical from start to finish.
The launch of Trips also sees the introduction of a new identity authentication process that the Airbnb Experiences Community will be using. Hosts and guests will be asked to scan an official government ID (for example a passport, or driving license) and then take a simple selfie. After the ID is authenticated, the ID and selfie will be reviewed to confirm that both pictures appear to match. Having a more robust standard of authenticating identity will make the Airbnb community stronger and reaffirms Airbnb’s ongoing commitment to authenticity, reliability, and security.
This new identity authentication step is required for all Experiences users, and is also currently being tested for homes bookings. Trips also leverages Airbnb’s existing Trust & Safety measures including a 250+ person global 24/7 support team, secure payments, messaging, profiles & reviews, and a new $1-million liability insurance program for eligible Experience hosts.
Adapted from a press release for IOL
* For more information on Trips from Airbnb, visit www.airbnb.com/new