Airbnb isn't just about booking a room anymore

LOS ANGELES — Airbnb wants to take a much more active role in planning your vacation.

The company is launching a new Trips app that will allow its users to plan out their entire trip, not just their their accommodations, Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky announced at the company's annual Airbnb Open conference.

Trips is a travel-planning app that will help travelers find "experiences" — host-guided activities that range from a few hours to a few days. A traveler in Italy, for instance, could be book an experience with a Tuscan truffle hunter or a traveler in LA could tag along with an artist to their studio.

Trips marks the company's latest move in an ongoing effort to expand its service beyond short-term rentals alone.

"We think travel can be magical and easy," Chesky says. "The magic is in the people, it's all about immersing in local communities."

It builds on previous efforts by the company to portray their hosts as travel experts who can take on more of a concierge role than a temporary landlord. Airbnb redesigned its main app earlier this year with a new guidebooks feature where hosts curate recommendations about places in their neighborhood and new personalized search results. The update was part of a broader campaign where the company encouraged its guests "Don't go there. Live there."

The update also comes as the short term rental company is under increasing regulatory scrutiny in a number of cities. Earlier in the week, the company reached an agreement with its home city of San Francisco to provide information about hosts and guests to the city — a regulation the company had previously opposed — following city lawmakers' attempts to limit rentals. The company is facing similar challenges in New York, where city officials have proposed a bill that would fine Airbnb hosts who list their apartment on the company's site.

BONUS: This magical chessboard is the dream of chess fans everywhere

Previous Post
Next Post