Airbnb expands hands-on ‘Experiences’ travel programme

Tourism November 23, 2017 11:45

By The Nation

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Airbnb will next month introduce its “Experiences” programme of activities guided by local experts in Melbourne, Bali and Hong Kong.

Launched globally a year ago, Experiences are now offered in more than 40 cities, 600 of which are in the Asia-Pacific region, earning Bt204 million to date.

Booking for Experiences has grown 14-fold in the region since January, with Tokyo one of the top five most popular global choices.

The three new markets will add 120 new Experiences to the existing roster, which already includes Bangkok, Queenstown, Seoul, Ho Chi Minh City, New Delhi, Osaka, Shanghai, Singapore, Sydney and Tokyo. 

Other upcoming additions include Hawaii, Buenos Aires, Costa Rica and Jamaica, all before the year end.

Experiences are part of Airbnb’s expansion from accommodation-hosting to an end-to-end travel platform. 

Like its home-sharing platform, the programme focuses on interesting and authentic activities that vary from making kimonos and exploring a fish market in Japan to muay thai boxing in Bangkok, all led by local hosts. 

Each Experience is carefully arranged to ensure guests a high-quality adventure. This approach has resulted in 90 per cent of guest-reviews of Experiences receiving a five-star rating.

“Travellers are seeking alternative adventures, whether they’re travelling alone or with groups of friends or family,” says Parin Mehta, the programme’s director in this region. 

“As well as seeking unique accommodation options, there is the desire to visit destinations such as Bali and Melbourne and enjoy them through the eyes of a local. 

“Experiences is also a great way to unleash economic opportunity for locals. Airbnb has emerged as a platform for people to monetise their passions and talents. Our greatest assets are time and potential and Experiences is a way to unlock that.”