The online home-sharing network Airbnb is making good its promise to help guests “live there” with its newest product launch — Trips. But more importantly, the new platform offers opportunities for building travel related businesses in the gig economy with a variety of new services.
“Until now, Airbnb has been about homes,” Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky said in a press release. “Today, Airbnb is launching Trips, bringing together where you stay, what you do, and the people you meet all in one place. We want to make travel magical again by putting people back at the heart of every trip.”
For now, Trips offers a variety of new features that may appeal to those interested in building businesses around hosting and acting as guide to visitors in their location.
One feature, Experiences, allows local entrepreneurs to create custom activities related to their interests. They can make money through the site by offering activities including anything from samurai swordplay workshops to morning surfing lessons. They can also use the service to offer guests deep insights into places and communities they might not have otherwise come across.
Besides Experiences, users can also make some money hosting an “Immersion.” Immersions are described as a way to give guests an in-depth look into the local scene.
Do you have extra space but no time to host? Well, Trips now makes it possible for you to get a local co-host. Your co-host can take care of logistics whenever you’re too busy to host or you are out of town.
Trips also offers the opportunity to sign up as a co-host and create a business by sending messages to those with space but no time to host announcing availability. Co-hosts also have the option of hosting for their community simply by creating a profile and listing a proposed fee.
Airbnb has also made a couple of significant changes to its mobile app. Users can now, for example, just send guests a photo of where a hidden key is located rather than telling them. This obviously makes it easier to communicate in situations where language is a barrier.
The new stats feature allows hosts to get richer details about what guests think of accommodations giving them better feedback on what they are doing well and where they may need improvement. The app also allows hosts to see individual ratings and read reviews for every trip.