In a recent interview, AirBnB Co-Founder Joe Gebbia said that the plans for AirBnB will extend beyond accommodation into all of the other areas of travel.
Airbnb co-founder Joe Gebbia hints at plans for travel world domination
"The average vacation takes upwards of 25 hours to plan and put together — from flights and rental cars, accommodations, split payments with friends — there are all these different components. I think people use about 10 different apps to coordinate an entire trip, so we ask the question: why? Couldn’t you have one place to go to put your whole trip together?"
That’s a pretty big list of travel features he mentioned in just in one sentence:
- Rental cars
- Payment splitting
Last November they added the “Experiences” section to the site, which pairs travelers with locals who can provide services like walking tours or other activities in order to give a more authentic feel to the trip. As hostel operators we can all appreciate how effective this is. A package tour may be great, but it can’t compare with a local host who guides you like a friend.
Services like flights can’t really be part of the sharing economy, because most normal folks don’t have private jets to rent out. Given their grand plans though, that opens the door for other non-sharing services that they could include in the collective trip planning package: reservations in restaurants, bars, cafes, theatres, etc.
Luckily for us, hostels are able to be listed on AirBnB, so we can already benefit from these changes. If your hostel offers additional services (or could offer them) them maybe we can take advantage of this expansion as a way to reach a larger audience. For example:
- Sign up as a local guide for the Experiences section
- List any activities you organize
- Create group dinners for other travelers in addition to hostel guests
- If you provide car rental, add your fleet
- Get your hostel’s bar/restaurant/café/night club listed
Mr. Gebbia also addressed some of the legal concerns about AirBnB’s model. He mentioned that they have already worked with 340 cities to find ways to report and collect income and tourist taxes. That doesn’t address the issue of licensing, but some cities allow short-term rentals without licenses for small properties, so it’s not necessarily an issue in all locations.