OVER the past year, cities around the world have begun to crack down on illegal Airbnb listings, threatening the home-rental firm’s seemingly unstoppable expansion. As regulation bites in some of its most important markets, so Airbnb is looking for new ways to grow.
Last week, the company announced the launch of Trips, a service through which locals can offer guided tours and other experiences to travellers. It will start modestly, offering 500 things to do across 12 cities: London, Miami, Nairobi, Havana, Florence, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Tokyo, Detroit, Seoul, Paris and Cape Town. These include activities like “violin making in Paris or marathon running in Kenya”, according to the site. An additional 39 cities will soon be added; experiences will range in cost from $30 to several hundred dollars for multi-day events.
That is only the start. Airbnb hopes ultimately to capture every step of the travel process. Eventually Trips will offer travellers the ability to rent cars, book flights and restaurants, and order groceries. At a time when both leisure and business travellers are…Continue reading