Following its global debut last November, Airbnb’s tours and activities platform Trips has now made its way into South-east Asia, officially launching in Singapore earlier this week followed by Bangkok yesterday.
Mass tourism has resulted in a “disconnect between (travellers) and the community”, so Trips can bridge this chasm by offering “experiences that cannot be found in guidebooks”, said Airbnb’s chief product officer Joe Gebbia, one of its three co-founders who visited Singapore and Bangkok this week to launch Airbnb Trips in both cities
The home-sharing giant now boasts three core offerings – Homes, Experiences and Places – although Trips is envisioned as “complementing home experiences”, pointed out Gebbia. Places are recommendations from Airbnb hosts, neighbourhood insiders and local influencers in a destination, providing travellers with access to a city’s hidden gems and events.
With its foray into tours and activities space, Airbnb’s ambitions to become a vertical player in the travel industry is becoming more apparent than ever.
“We foresee a vertical integrated system, building things on top of each other,” added Gebbia.
Experiences in Singapore include making soon kueh (turnip dumplings) with a hawker and making pottery at a family-run pottery with wood-fired dragon kilns. In Bangkok, a muay thai immersion with official master of ceremonies Matthew Deane, Thai fruit carving and making cocktails using traditional Thai ingredients are among the Experiences being offered.
Airbnb now offers 800 Experiences across 13 cities worldwide – including Singapore, Bangkok, Tokyo, Seoul and Sydney in Asia-Pacific – and is expected to be rolled out to 50 markets within this year.
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