Airbnb was founded eight years ago. Its main focus or business model for that period was to stand out as the go to place for home and room renting services. Through the platform people could rent out spare rooms or entire apartments and houses to travellers. A simple case scenario is a point where you have a spare room which you are willing to rent out to tourist visiting your locality. All you had to do was enlist your room with Airbnb. Alternatively you could rent out your own house during the periods you are not around. Talk of turning your own house into an asset. Airbnb can be referred to as the Uber of the hospitality industry,
Well Airbnb is focused on diversifying its business model. The company launched a new programme called Trips towards the end of last week. This can be seen as a bid for it to transform itself into a travel company. The new programme is meant to offer travellers the opportunity to create customised itineraries for hours or days that afford a more authentic local experience. It will let local people offer their knowledge, experience, work or even their social life – for a price. The result will be having tourists feel like genuine locals. Eventually, flight and rental car bookings will be part of the service.
“If you want to travel, you basically end up on a research project. We want to fix this.”
-Airbnb Chief Executive Brian Chesky
The service was launched in 12 cities of which Nairobi is one of them. The company is focused on expanding the service to 50 cities next year. To access the new service you will need to update your current Airbnb app. The 12 cities are mainly:
- Cape Town
- Los Angeles
- San Francisco
To start with there are 500 experiences spread across these 12 cities. The idea behind Trips is to offer unprecedented access and deep insights into communities and places that you wouldn’t otherwise come across. The following is want you will get when you choose to use Trips:
- Insider Guidebooks
This will reflect the recommendations of thousands of Airbnb hosts, neighbourhood insiders and local influencers.
- Trip Itinerary
This brings everything the traveller needs to know into one simple timeline.
- Identity Authentication
This involves a new process of authentication combining both official government ID and a simple selfie.
Airbnb goes as far as reviewing host’s credentials and make sure they do some test experiences so that they can be sure people will enjoy them. Chesky says the process of launching Trips has been on the go for more than four years. With Trips you essentially get a dedicated tour guide who has vast experience or first-hand experience with the matter at hand. Kenya has proven itself again as the epicentre of technology breakthroughs in Africa or simply Airbnb chose Nairobi because of the current bloom of high profile seminars and conferences hosted here. These events do draw a good amount of foreign traffic.