Airbnb Experiences Update

Airbnb’s mission is to create a world where anyone can belong anywhere. To advance our mission, we are focused on reimagining travel by building an end-to-end travel platform that combines where you stay, what you do, and how you get there, all in one place. To achieve this goal, we are investing in creating new businesses that will power our growth over the long-term.

Airbnb has an unrivaled global community of hosts and guests: We can connect travelers to more than 6 million places to stay, and there have been more than half a billion guest arrivals in Airbnb listings. More and more of these travelers are choosing to participate in an Airbnb Experience as part of their trip, and increasingly, locals are using Airbnb Experiences to explore the cities in which they live.

Airbnb Experiences immerse travelers in local communities around the world by offering one-of-a-kind activities that are handcrafted and led by local experts. From walking with wolves in LA to listening to live jazz in a repurposed London shipping container, Experiences go beyond typical tours or classes by immersing guests in each host’s unique world.

Today, we are offering a series of updates regarding the growth of Airbnb Experiences, along with background on the different kinds of Experiences that are proving popular with travelers.

Experiences Bookings Increase Nearly 7x

We know travelers are looking for new, unique things to do when they hit the road. In a recent survey conducted for Skift, “69 percent of respondents said they would rather spend more money on better activities than a nicer hotel room (31 percent),” and 65% “want to come back having experienced something new,” versus 35% saying they “want to come back feeling rested and recharged.”

Airbnb Experiences are meeting that demand, offering a new way for people to experience a destination or the city they call home:

  • In 2018, the number of seats booked on Airbnb Experiences increased nearly 7x, year over year.  
  • In 2016, Experiences launched with roughly 500 experiences. Today, over 30,000 Experiences are available around the world.
  • While city expansion drove demand, we also grew our attach rate within cities; tripling the number of US guests booking an Experience alongside a home.

Unique and High-Quality

In order to provide the best end-to-end trip, we’ve put a strong emphasis on quality and require all Experiences to meet our high quality standards. This focus on quality is paying off. Today, over 90 percent of all Experiences have 5-star reviews.

Airbnb Experiences are also unique. Unlike tours and activities offered by others, many of Airbnb Experiences are not offered on any other major online platform. In a recent survey of guests who booked an Airbnb experience, 96% of surveyed guests said identifying a more local, authentic experience was a factor when booking with Airbnb, while 92% said their trust in the quality of Airbnb Experiences influenced their decision to book one.

An Economic Opportunity for Hosts

The growth of Experiences also offers new ways for small entrepreneurs to market their time and experiences and talents. In the past, it was difficult for individuals to market and sell independent experiences to travelers. Airbnb has given entrepreneurs access to our global network and while the average person earned $2,500 per Experience listed in 2018, some of our top hosts are earning more than $300,000 in a year from hosting Experiences.

Food, Nature, Art, Animals

In the last two years, we have learned a tremendous amount about the kind of Experiences travelers are looking for, with food and dining, nature, art, and animal-themed experiences such as visiting a Sea Turtle hospital in Miami or Discovering Arctic Foxes, generating significant revenue for hosts.

Understanding the opportunity presented by specialized categories such as these, we are making new investments in these areas. We recently hired new experts who specifically focus on growing the number of Experiences related to Food & Drink and Animals, respectively, while ensuring the Experiences meet our high quality standards.

Social Impact Experiences

Social Impact Experiences empower nonprofits by giving them a platform to fundraise and promote their mission, and by driving Airbnb users to engage in social causes around the globe. Each organization decides what Experience will most help the communities they serve — whether it’s fundraising, building awareness, volunteering, or all of the above — and we waive our fees so that 100 percent of the proceeds go directly to the nonprofit.

With these experiences, Airbnb uses its global footprint and peer review system to support impactful organizations, often in neighborhoods that are not normally on the tourist map, including in underserved urban areas. The opportunity to immerse in a social cause, community, mission and vision of a non-profit can inspire people to act beyond the lifespan of the experience, creating long-term donors, volunteers, and ambassadors to a cause.

Social Impact Experiences are already making a difference. To date, non-profits have raised almost $4 million by hosting a Social Impact Experience and over 65,000 people have connected with a non-profit on an Experience.

Moving Forward

The desire for new, unique experiences represents a tremendous market opportunity. The New York Times recently reported, “Global spending on the so-called experience economy, which is being driven primarily by millennial consumers, is expected to reach $8.2 trillion by 2028, according to the market research firm Euromonitor.”

Airbnb Experiences are well positioned to seize this opportunity while providing an antidote to mass produced tourism, enabling travelers to experience a different and authentic side of a city through local residents. We will be making aggressive investments in Experiences in 2019, making it easier for guests to find the kind of Experience they are looking for while significantly increasing the supply of Experiences available around the world.