Airbnb Experiences boon for business

Joining the Airbnb Experiences platform has been a boon for the business.

Traditional tourist operators are looking to Airbnb Experiences to help boost their businesses.

The service enables New Zealanders to create bespoke tours they can guide other Airbnb users on.

Base Camp Adventures managing director Loz Ogle said joining the Airbnb Experiences platform had proved a boon for the business.

The adventure company operates Climbing Queenstown, which also uses other avenues to market itself.

It helped to market the business to a different and growing market, particularly over the slower winter months, Mr Ogle said.

Airbnb might cause issues for traditional accommodation providers, but it has been useful for the business, he said.

“They’re [Airbnb] very keen to have it as a hosted experience where they have an interaction with a person, not a company.”

It was easier to keep guests safe as guides have already interacted with them to set up the experience, they know who they are and what they look like, he said.

Culture walks, surfing, soul astrology and art classes are among the bespoke tours available in New Zealand.

And Airbnb Experiences is expected to become increasingly popular into the summer months.

It was launched as a trial in Queenstown earlier this year, expanding across New Zealand at the end of August with more than 100 experiences on offer.

Airbnb Australia and NZ manager Sam McDonagh said the success of the Queenstown trial encouraged the company to expand.

“One of the things that we love about Airbnb Experience is that it provides the opportunity to make travel magical again by allowing travellers to immerse themselves in a local culture,” Mr McDonagh said.

The process to become a guide was simple, but stringent, he said.

“You can’t just post an experience to Airbnb, we’ve got to go through that with you and understand that you’re well-qualified to do what you’re doing.”

There were more rigourous processes for higher risk bespoke tours, Mr McDonagh said.

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