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Travel and accommodation company Airbnb has announced a new program that sees the company take a massive leap into the tourism market.
Dubbed Trips, Airbnb will no longer just allow people to search for boarding on the web, but now aims to make trips “easy and magical”.
Airbnb Trips launches on the company’s app with three key focuses — experiences, places and home. The company notes that a “flights” section will also be launched in the future.
Users can browse what is effectively different travel packages posted by various hosts, complete with itinerary and a cute little video reel of what you can expect on each trip. Think Snapchat meets Airbnb.
Effectively, the company wants to be the host of personal, independent travel agents.
“Get unprecedented access to local passions and interests, like violin making in Paris or marathon running in Kenya; discover the hidden gems that only locals know about via personal recommendations; and socialise with other travellers and locals at exciting events,” the company explains.
Airbnb Trips launches with Cape Town as one of its star destinations
Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky notes the change too, suggesting that up until now, the eight-year-old company has only been focused on homes.
“Today, Airbnb is launching Trips, bringing together where you stay, what you do, and the people you meet all in one place. We want to make travel magical again by putting people back at the heart of every trip,” he notes.
Initially, Airbnb Trips will launched with about 500 experiences in 12 worldwide cities, including Cape Town and Nairobi. An additional 39 cities will be added to this lineup in the coming months.
Audio tours, guide books, and trip itineraries will all be added to the Airbnb experience.
These additions will all be available on the company’s updated app, on Android and iPhone, in addition to its website.