SAN FRANSISCO, Calif. — On Thursday, Airbnb announced a new service called Trips, which will provide customers with local tours, custom-tailored activities and personalized experiences.
According to the New York Times, Airbnb’s short-term rental business model is continuing to face pushback from local governments around the world. Therefore, the silicon-valley-based company is expanding beyond its core market to become a broader service travel agency.
Trips will begin with 500 experiences — created and provided by locals in 12 cities — that can last from a few hours to a few days. Miami artist, J.C. Rodriguez, for example, will provide two-day experiences he calls Behind the Art — which allows tourists to meet local artists in their studios and create their own pieces.
“Hosts for the trips are people who are already immersed in the experience they’re creating,” Rodriguez says to the New York Times. “There wasn’t training. We show people around the way we’d show a friend.”
Rodriguez’s fee of $150 for the experience will also cover one meal and the required art supplies. Airbnb, in turn, takes a 20-per-cent cut.
With Trips, Airbnb hopes to push deeper into the travel market and give more people more ways to make money. According to Bloomberg, the company first began planning Trips in 2012 and has been privately testing the service for several months.