Arrivals & Departures Airbnb expands into tours and trips

Photo of Angie Tomlinson

Eat, play and stay like a local with the newest innovation from the home rental website.

Immersing oneself in the interests, hobbies and passions of locals is the promise of Trips – the newest game changer from Airbnb.

No-doubt Airbnb hopes its Trips launch will be the disrupter for the travel industry its accommodation offering was eight years ago.

Trips moves Airbnb beyond accommodation to what travellers do and the people they meet – all on the one platform.

Trips has three key areas: experiences, places and homes, with flights and services to be added in the future.

It gives access to local passions, like violin making in Paris or marathon running in Kenya, with personal recommendations from locals, as well as options to socialise with other travellers and locals at events.

The Experiences section includes activities designed and led by locals, from a single activity such as a Samurai Swordplay workshop or a multi-day experience such as learning about and driving classic cars in Malibu.

Trips currently has about 500 experiences in 12 cities, including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami, Detroit, Havana, London, Paris, Florence, Nairobi, Cape Town, Tokyo and Seoul.

Budding hosts in these and a further 39 cities worldwide, including Sydney, can request to list their experience.

Under Places, Trips offers guidebooks, meet-ups and audio walks.

With the Insider Guidebooks, people recommend hidden gems within their city.

“Find the perfect run from a marathoner, the best dive bar from a local mixologist and the next great undiscovered restaurant from an up-and-coming chef,” Airbnb suggests.

The guidebooks are now available in six cities – Los Angeles, San Francisco, Havana, Nairobi, Detroit and Seoul – with more coming.

Places also has more than one million individual recommendations from Airbnb’s home hosts, praising their favourite local gems, from cafes and restaurants to parks and other attractions.

Airbnb has also partnered with restaurant booking platform Resy so travellers can book a table at a local restaurant through the Airbnb app.

Audio walking tours have also been launched, initially in Los Angeles. San Francisco, Paris, London, Tokyo and Seoul will follow next year.

Meet-ups within the Places section of the app will allow local businesses to host one-off or regular events for Airbnb guests and locals to connect with each other.

The new offerings are in addition to the three million homes available to book in 191 countries on the site.