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Airbnb wants to move 'beyond accommodation' to help travellers arrange holiday activities


By Rebecca Stewart, Trends Editor

May 6, 2016 | 2 min read

Airbnb is looking to expand into the leisure sector according to co-founder Nathan Blecharczyk, who said the holiday rental platform has plans to move the business "beyond accommodation".

Airbnb expanding business

The company, which allows anyone to let out their home to globetrotters is considering helping travellers arrange holiday activities by pairing hosts and guests for city tours and sporting activities, among other pursuits.

Speaking to the BBC, Blecharczyk, who is also the firm's chief technology office, said: "What we've demonstrated is there's an immense appetite to travel more authentically and immerse yourself in culture... as opposed to having a commoditised experience."

He said the expansion could see Airbnb help guests and hosts arrange "something as simple as going for a bike ride on their favourite bike route or doing a game of Frisbee."

"But connecting with real people having a good time, that's something not currently available in the professionalised world of hospitality. We're thinking beyond accommodation. What are the sort of things people are doing outside their home?" he added.

This move into creating personal connections between individuals in the real world follows on from comments made by the brand's EMEA marketing director Alex Dimiziani, who told The Drum that the company wants to increase cultural empathy and decrease cultural boundaries in a recent interview.

Airbnb operates in over 30,000 cities across 191 countries, and recently opened up operations in Cuba thanks to special authorisation from President Obama.


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