Airbnb wants you to live like a local – no matter where you are.
And in a huge announcement on Thursday, they showed exactly how they plan on letting you do that.
CEO and Co-Founder Brian Chesky started off his address by simply saying, “We think travel can be magical and easy.”
Well, if you think the idea of making magic easy meant Airbnb was going to limit themselves to the overnight business, you were very wrong – they’re expanding into complete experiences.
Airbnb’s announcement today introduced a whole new platform for you to enjoy your world travels. Homes are now joined by Experiences and Places as options in 12 cities throughout the world, with plans to be in 50 cities by next year.
These ‘experiences’ range from Immersions (multi-day experiences) to Single experiences (a few hours). The Immersions include everything from going foraging with an official truffle hunter, to learning Korean embroidery, or even taking surf lessons from a surf champion. Single experiences meanwhile, offer the chance to see a concert, have dinner at a local’s house, or go on a walking tour. What’s more, each experience offers a video preview (think movie trailer) of all it has to offer.
Of course, all of these experiences are peer-rated so you can take other travellers’ words on which ones are most worth it.
The new Airbnb app update will also offer meet-ups in each city, as well as ‘audio walks’ – audio tours of some of the cities’ coolest areas – not to mention the ability to now make restaurant reservations directly through the app.
Oh, and Airbnb announced they will soon be getting into offering flights and services.
Essentially, Airbnb wants to be your one-stop shop for every trip you take. They want to guide you from your door to someone else’s, and make sure you experience your entire trip just as a local might the whole time you’re away.
Will it work? Only time and peer-rated reviews will tell.
The new update was announced as being available immediately following the conclusion of Chesky’s speech but it was not made clear if that was only in the US. At the time of writing this, the app update does not appear to yet be available in Canada.
The 12 cities Airbnb’s Experiences are already available in are: Detroit, London, Paris, Nairobi, Havana, San Francisco, Cape Town, Florence, Miami, Seoul, Tokyo, and Los Angeles.
The future of travel just got a lot more interesting.