It looks like Airbnb wants to expand its reach beyond just short-term rentals — in fact, the company could be looking to transform itself into a full-on travel agency.
Airbnb has created a new initiative it calls Airbnb Trips, which is aimed at offering users experiences beyond just finding a place to stay — those experiences could include a range of different activities, including taking a surfing trip in Malibu or eating an obscure food in Paris.
“If you want to have an amazing trip, you end up basically on a research project,” said Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky during the Airbnb Open conference, according to a report from The Verge. “If you have a passion, an interest, or a hobby, you can share your community with others in the world.”
Airbnb is kicking off with Trips in 12 cities, with the major ones including Los Angeles, New York, Paris, Tokyo, and San Francisco. This, however, is just the beginning — Airbnb hopes to bring the initiative to more than 50 cities by next year.
Trips can range from a few days to only a few hours and can include all sorts of different activities. You can filter using different types of activities too — like trying new foods. As part of the new feature, Airbnb says it partnered with restaurant startup Resy, which lets users book tables at popular restaurants.
Of course, the ultimate goal for Airbnb is to offer more than just short-term apartment rentals. Instead of using Airbnb for one service, users may start thinking of the company as their go-to for all their travel needs. That is if it can successfully fight against recent regulations — a number of cities in the U.S. have banned Airbnb from operating and some have imposed strict fees on any rentals that are less than 30 days.
- The best trip-planning apps for Android and iOS
- Airbnb boss reveals where he’ll go first when we can travel again
- Stuck indoors? Airbnb launches virtual travel experiences
- Here’s one thing you need to do before giving your child a smartphone or tablet
- You can now search Airbnb for business-friendly places to stay on work trips