Airbnb has made the first move to promote its new ‘Trips service’ in London as it talks up the experiences available when booking through its service, not just the accommodation.
It has launched an ‘outside-in’ house in collaboration with colour brand Pantone that transforms a home in Clerkenwell in London with features including an indoor greenhouse and garden bedroom.
The move comes after Airbnb introduced its Trips service in 12 cities, including London, late last year. The plan is to roll it out to 51 cities in total in 2017.
And with the political surprises of 2016, with Brexit and Donald Trump winning the US election, Airbnb believes it is more important than ever for customers to embrace travel and “come together” through its trips service.
“Now is a time when the openness travel can bring is really important. It helps to broaden horizons and can make the world a smaller place when it feels so distant,” James McClure, general manager for northern Europe, told Marketing Week at an Airbnb press event today (24 January).
The Trips platform now offers 500 experiences to travellers who want to experience local living in the city they are visiting. As well as the inside-out house, guests can book experiences such as Tai Chi and tea and making gin from scratch.
Now is a time when the openness travel can bring is really important. It helps to broaden horizons and can make the world a smaller place when it feels so distant.
James McClure, Airbnb
Despite the fact more of its travel competitors, including TUI, are adopting Airbnb’s business models to suit the micro-adventurer as they push for end-to-end ownership, Airbnb believes the type of customer it attracts and the novelty of its hosts and trips gives it the edge.
McClure said its experiences and hosts attract people that want to link what they do day-to-day with their passion, such as photography.
“More than eight in 10 millennials want the local experience and to stay in the home and neighbourhood of the place they are visiting. It comes down to participation. Our hosts are getting more involved with trips and this is something that is more immersive than what a bus tour can offer,” McClure commented.