over the past yr, cities around the world have begun to crack down on unlawful Airbnb listings, threatening the house-condominium agency’s apparently unstoppable growth. As regulation bites in some of its most vital markets, so Airbnb is in search of new how to grow.
closing week, the company announced the launch of trips, a service through which locals can supply guided excursions and different experiences to guests. it is going to start modestly, providing 500 issues to do across 12 cities: London, Miami, Nairobi, Havana, Florence, San Francisco, los angeles, Tokyo, Detroit, Seoul, Paris and Cape town. These embrace activities like “violin making in Paris or marathon working in Kenya”, according to the web site. an extra 39 cities will soon be brought; experiences will range in value from $ 30 to a number of hundred bucks for multi-day events.
that is simplest the beginning. Airbnb hopes in some way to capture every step of the shuttle course of. sooner or later trips will provide visitors the flexibility to rent vehicles, e book flights and eating places, and order groceries. At a time when both amusement and trade visitors are increasingly choosing Airbnb over traditional accommodations, the firm needs to offer a full-suite alternative to sites like Expedia and Kayak. It hopes its promoting point of providing the “authentic” experience that comes with renting an Airbnb rental—or, now, with booking a guided tour through locals—will help set it aside.
Airbnb calls the launch of journeys “probably the most vital development in its eight yr history”. The move comes amid rumors that agency is planning an IPO quickly. the company hopes that traders concerned a few crackdown on rentals in markets like new york will see enlargement attainable in journeys.
however there are dangers, too. First, these new experiences might run into the identical regulatory problems as condominium rentals. In big apple and other cities, tour courses are required to have special licenses. If renting out properties in obvious violation of native ordinances has proved thorny, there’s no cause to expect these experiences to be any different.
after which there’s the query of Airbnb’s id. the rationale many customers make a choice it over conventional inns isn’t necessarily worth: Airbnb leases are often just as pricey as lodge rooms of similar high quality and site. (And for industry travellers, worth is sometimes no longer a figuring out factor in any case.) reasonably the reason is, they wish to be some distance from the flocks of visitors on guided expeditions. If Airbnb attracts tens of millions of travelers to its personal tours and different experiences, it might prove undermining the very thing that has made it so horny to guests to this point.