Airbnb is looking to put your travel agent out of business for good. The peer-to-peer lodging rental app just announced they're rolling out a new line of offerings that allows travelers who use the service not only to find a place to lay their head, but also find the best restaurants, activities, and recommendations wherever they go.
The new development is called Airbnb Trips, and combines the existing option of homeshare and homestay rentals to be the springboard for a stay that allows you to take the guesswork out of the area you’re staying in. One of the focuses of Trips is “Experiences,” which connects you to locally based activities such as truffle hunting in Tuscany, samurai sword lessons in Tokyo, and surf lessons in Los Angeles. It’s Airbnb’s way of taking the complication out of making cool things happen in a place you’ve never been before without the struggle. Currently, there are 500 activities available in 12 cities through Experiences.
Additionally, Aibnb paired up and collaborated with travel experts and local guides to compile comprehensive guides based on hundreds of thousands of recommendations sourced from Airbnb hosts as an alternative to aggregated "must-visit" lists that anyone can Google and fall victim to as tourist traps. This feature is called “Places” and allows travelers to easily find hidden gems of wherever they’re staying — from races for runners to take part, dive bars at which to drink, and up-and-coming restaurants that don’t have impossible reservation lists.
Airbnb will offer 100 Insider Guidebooks in six cities: Los Angeles, San Francisco, Havana, Nairobi, Detroit, and Seoul. Other guidebooks will be coming soon following the launch of Trips. The “Places” development will also feature audio walking tours in Los Angeles, with San Francisco, Paris, London, Tokyo, and Seoul to follow by spring 2017, as well as “Meet-Ups,” which will connect the thousands of Airbnb users in a city on any given night so you can hang out with fellow travelers if you wish.
Over time, Airbnb plans to aggregate your preferences and suggest personalized itineraries for your future trips.
Trips has launched and is available for use by any of Airbnb’s travelers to the 3 million homes across 191 countries that host travelers. In the future, Aibnb plans to expand the Trips platform to also include flights and services — which will potentially allow the app to become a full-fledged, end-to-end travel-service operator that can compete with the likes of Kayak and Travelocity with a community-sharing edge.