Airbnb is trying to plan your entire holiday for you, and it’s adding more countries
Airbnb is pushing Trips hard, and further into more countries in Asia.
The San Francisco-based company on Monday launched Trips across two new cities in the region, Singapore and Bangkok.
This brings the Trips to four cities in Asia, including Seoul and Tokyo, which was in the original roll out late last year.
Trips is an Airbnb a feature which allows users to find and book local tours and activities while on holiday.
Joe Gebbia, co-founder and chief product officer of Airbnb, told us in an interview that the concept was born back in 2012, in order to elevate Airbnb from a place to book accommodations, to "end-to-end" holiday firm.
But for Airbnb to beat travel agencies which have been doing this for longer, it needs to offer one thing: convenience.
"If you book with us you can discover these [activities] very easily over the same app, you don’t have to find a local service or dig through to find out what the local options are," said Gebbia.
"[We want] to really answer the question ‘What can I do now that I’m here?’"
Joe tries his hand at making dumplings in Singapore
‘Making travel magical again’
Airbnb’s Trips consist of multi-day "immersions" or "experiences" lasting several hours.
With Asia being Airbnb’s fastest growing market for inbound travellers, at 177 percent growth year-on-year, it’s no surprise that the company is targeting the region.
In Singapore, you’ll be able to try making dumplings and pottery, for instance.
However, the company’s plan is not without its fair share of roadblocks.
Singapore had earlier last month passed a law making it illegal for home owners to rent out entire apartments and rooms for less than six months.
"I’m disappointed with the way the government went about putting this law in place," Gebbia said.
"But we want to sit and really talk about how to make fair and progressive laws that can properly regulate the industry and economy, like we’ve done with almost 200 cities worldwide."
Trips is currently available across London, Miami, Nairobi, Havana, Florence, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Detroit, Tokyo, Seoul, Cape Town and Paris. It’s expected to go live across 50 cities by the end of this year.
"The sharing economy is out of the bag — and it’s not going to go back in," he said.