NEW YORK, United States — Airbnb has announced it is investing $5m into its experiences program, as consumers continue to search for meaningful travel experiences that transform their wellbeing.
Allowing small business owners, new entrepreneurs and community non-profits to create immersive experiences for travellers, the initiative, which is currently available in 50 locations globally, will expand its offering to 200 additional locations across the US.
“Since launching Airbnb Experiences, we’ve seen some exciting growth. Compared to the same time last year, global weekly guest bookings are up over 2,000% and the number of active experiences grew 500%,” comments Airbnb in a company statement.
“Globally we currently offer more than 4,000 experiences across 50 cities, and in the US alone, we now offer over 1,000 experiences and counting.”
By attracting travellers who want to explore cities through the eyes of locals or via participation in authentic practices, Airbnb Experiences also hopes to generate economic value for neighbourhoods and non-profits that previously would not have benefited from tourism.
“Even more, it provides a unique opportunity for people to earn extra income by showcasing their knowledge and talent with an audience of millions,” states the company.
According to a recent article in Vogue, “transformational travel” is predicted to become the next evolution in travel. “It has similar elements of experiential travel, but taken a step further—it’s travel motivated and defined by a shift in perspective, self-reflection and development, and a deeper communion with nature and culture.”
For travellers looking for something more meaningful than the traditional holiday, transformational travel provides the solution, and Airbnb has been quick to recognise that.
Airbnb argues that it has seen a huge increase in desire among travellers to unlock their time and potential through the shared experiences it offers. By investing further in this segment, the company hopes it can entice more people to use its services, as well as reach a new audience looking to spend on self-development and social consciousness.