Airbnb Experiences

Airbnb expands beyond rentals — now hosting Experiences

Airbnb Experiences offers unique experiences – from cooking to scenic tours – with locals.

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Woah, this is huge. The travel startup graveyard is full of P2P tours and activities providers, none of which managed to gain much traction - @couchsurfing probably comes closest, but it's far from mainstream. @axk does a good job of explaining why it's so hard in this analysis from @denschaal of @skift: “Margins are incredibly tight (just 10% in some cases) and the promiscuous behavior of guides in terms of working with multiple P2P marketplaces will prove very challenging,” Kremer says. “The amount of distribution volume required to make things work at those margins has no chance of materializing anytime soon." (from 2013) But there's a clear desire for this and maybe AirBnb has the clout (and distribution) to finally make it work.
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@gillianim Very true. The travel industry has fallen into a vicious cycle of being forced by aggregators to compete on price. They have a very heavy technical environment to work with just to maintain their network and fleet. Compound that with the lack of traceability with existing tour operators makes it a hard space for incumbents to innovate in. Hopefully AirBNB can get this off the ground, would love to try it next time i'm in SF. Particularly excited to see how this will work in a developing economy.
@haichenw @gillianim what I find more interesting is that AirBNB is well suited to run this as a loss leader which could serve to capture significant market share while avoiding (ignoring) the slim margins. They've done this before (free verified photos for listings) to add value to the service
@a_nater @gillianim agreed...they could run it at a loss for a long time. Wouldn't surprise me if that's the strategy they take.
@a_nater @gillianim My question would be do they need to run it as a loss leader? There are hardly any decent competitors in the market, and certainly none with a reputable, trusted Identity system which would facilitate this crowd sourced model.
I haven't seen any press about this; so as far as I can tell, this is a Product Hunt Exclusive :) I got an email saying "You've travelled quite a bit on Airbnb, so I wanted to invite you to be one of the first experience hosts here in San Francisco. We're looking for amazing folks to share authentic San Francisco dinner parties, food and pub crawls, and brunch gatherings the week of December 1st. Whether it’s an intimate dinner at your house, a rosé brunch in the park, dinner and a bonfire at the beach, or a serendipitous excursion to your favorite pop-up in the Mission, every idea you share is a chance for a traveler to belong in San Francisco." This seems to be an attempt for Airbnb to expand beyond the rental listing space, to include other experiences such as gym classes and other personal experiences. It seems quite a genius move, that I hadn't really thought of to be honest.
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This is a great next step
@_jacksmith they have tried this for years. This is just another attempt. From concierge services to pre-packaged experiences to now a direct competitor to Vayable
AFAIK this is something Airbnb has been testing since 2014 in some locations like SF ( In Europe it also has a partnership with Trip4real, a travel experience startup from Barcelona, which shows up at the end of the Airbnb booking process (
Actually I stand corrected, it seems some experiences are live after all, and not just in San Francisco. Here's a shopping tour in Paris Airbnb experience I can't find one place where all experiences are listed but if you type in (and a number after /) you can see them. Can anyone find anything particularly cool or random that is offered!? :-)
@dan_fennessy hmmm i think i might have to have a play with that...
@dan_fennessy great find!
I've been using for this for awhile. It's almost the exact what Airbnb is describing. Should be interesting!