According to the firm, Trips is a people-powered platform designed to make travel both easy and magical by bringing Experiences, Places and Homes together. Flights and Services to be added in the future. Trips will connect travellers to experiences in communities around the world helping them discover the hidden gems that only locals know about via personal recommendations. The move will also see travellers socialise with other travellers and locals at exciting events.
“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 and offer unprecedented access and deep insights into communities and places that you wouldn’t otherwise come across.
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.
A number of Experiences will also be available where guests can give something back to communities through non-profit organisations. 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. 100 Insider Guidebooks will be available at launch in six cities – Los Angeles, San Francisco, Havana, Nairobi, Detroit and Seoul – with more coming soon.
As well as Insider Guidebooks, Places includes over one million individual recommendations worldwide from Airbnb’s home hosts, recommending their favourite hidden gems in their neighbourhoods, from cafes and restaurants to parks and other local attractions. A partnership with restaurant booking platform, Resy, will make it possible for people in future to book tables at great local restaurants directly through the Airbnb app.
Airbnb has also struck an exclusive partnership with Detour to offer access to amazing experiential audio walking tours allowing people to discover neighbourhoods in a totally unique and authentic way. At launch, audio tours will initially be available for Los Angeles with San Francisco, Paris, London, Tokyo and Seoul to follow by Spring 2017.
With Trips, Airbnb also wants to make travel more social, helping connect the thousands of Airbnb users in a city on any given night. Meet ups within Places will let local businesses host one-off or regular events for Airbnb guests and locals to connect with each other.
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.
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.