Last Thursday, Airbnb introduced two new services, that would extend the company's hospitality and accommodation services beyond the homes of its hosts. The new services, 'Experiences' and 'Places', adding further layers of interaction to its people-powered hospitality model.
"Trips will enable and bring together where you stay, what you do, and the people you meet all in one place."Airbnb
Nairobi and Cape Town are among the first twelve cities to launch Airbnb trips globally. Other cities in the launch edition of Trips include Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami, Detroit, Havana, London, Paris, Florence, Tokyo and Seoul.
The company believes it has transformed "where people stay when they travel", saying that it can take this same people-focused approach to the rest of the trip experience and, in doing so, provide a way for people to make money from their passions and interests.
"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."Brian Chesky, Airbnb CEO
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.
Additionally, Airbnb's Places aims to reflect the recommendations of hundreds of thousands of Airbnb hosts, neighbourhood insiders and local influencers. Places hopes to serve as an alternative to aggregated tourist lists that funnel people to the same places.
Having gained some traction in Kenya, South Africa and other countries around the world, Airbnb offers travellers an alternative to traditional hotels and guest houses, and with the new services, it seems the company has its sights set further up the travel and accommodation value chain, taking on the travel agency industry.