Airbnb may soon expand to offer “experiences” (like local tours or classes) in addition to its core shared accommodations business. Airbnb “hosts” would be allowed to market such experiences via the Airbnb app.
Travel website Tnooz reported a year ago that Airbnb had begun experimenting with “experiences,” but Tnooz recently reports that the practice may be turning into a wider initiative for Airbnb.
Experiences are a logical extension of the “Last Minute” feature Airbnb just added to its mobile app. Last Minute shows rentals that are available immediately for last minute trips. The addition of suggestions about “what to do” on such a trip might prevent potential renters from getting cold feet at the last minute.
Airbnb executives have been talking about branching out into new types of services, apparently even briefly considering a ride-sharing service, but they’ve been light on specifics.
The shared accommodations startup has now taken a total of $846 million in venture funding and has a massive market valuation of around $10 billion. Airbnb is likely looking for ways to demonstrate that it’s a growing business deserving of that high price tag.
We’ll keep an eye out for an official announcement from Airbnb about “experiences.”