Yesterday, November 17, Airbnb’s CEO Brian Chesky took the stage at the historic Orpheum Theater in downtown Los Angeles to announce the launch of a new product: Trips.
Chief Executive announced that Airbnb would offer travelers the opportunity to create customized itineraries for hours or days that afford a more authentic local experience.
“If you want to travel, you basically end up on a research project,” Chesky said. “We want to fix this.”
Through Trips, customers can book a range of local activities and find attractions that are not on the tourist circuit. The services are available now as an upgrade to the Airbnb app in 12 cities and will be in more than 50 cities next year. Flight and rental car bookings will also be part of the service eventually.
The new platform lets people offer immersions (services that either last many days) or single experiences (services for a few hours). You can also filter by categories or switch from the experience you want to have to the place you want to go.
Furthermore Airbnb says it partnered with a restaurant reservation startup called Resy to let you book a table at a popular place to eat through its platform, so you can book tables as you browse recommendations. The company is also partnering with Detour, a startup that makes app-enabled audio guides, so travelers can go on audio walks in the cities they are staying in. It also pushed out a new timeline feature under the Trips tab, which Chesky says will let the company understand where you’re going, what gaps you have in your trip, and what your preferences are to recommend activities to you.
The goal is to provide travelers with a way of connecting with experiences they wouldn’t typically be able to have has a tourist. That way, more travelers think of Airbnb as a destination for finding cool stuff to do in a new place.
Airbnb is looking to differentiate itself from the competition and trips platform will potentially become an end to end travel service operator.