Airbnb, an online community marketplace to list and book accommodations, launched its new platform – Trips – in New Delhi on Sunday evening. Aiming to make travel a transformative experience, Trips will enable its users to discover communities and their passion – from astronomy to Korean embroidery.
Airbnb is launching Trips with 15 experiences in Delhi. These include ‘Journey of Couture’ in association with fashion designer duo Shantanu and Nikhil, in which participants get to explore their designer studio, meet artisans, and get to know the ‘behind-the-scenes’ work.
In another offering, Delhi’s jazz-classical duo Aninda Bose and Pavitra Chari will host a three-hour session of songwriting and music production for their guests.
Yet another ‘experience’ offers an opportunity for participants to take a tour of ‘Museo Camera’ – which showcases over 1,500 cameras – led by Aditya Arya, the curator and professional photographer for over three decades.
Speaking at the launch of Trips in Delhi, Airbnb Co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky said that Trips is the most significant development in the history of Airbnb. He added,
"We are expanding beyond accommodation, but taking the same people-focused approach to the entire trip. I’m excited to launch India Trips today as we have handpicked unique experiences, designed and led by locals, to reflect the diversity and variety of the city. Airbnb Trips will offer locals and visitors alike the chance to immerse themselves in the people, places, and experiences that make the city unique.”
Launched in November 2016, Airbnb Trips has over 800 ‘experiences’ available in 16 cities worldwide. Airbnb claims that travellers from over 73 different countries have given 91 percent of ‘experience’ bookings five-star ratings. Trips lets the user experience a different side of the city, while local people benefit from tourism by sharing their passions.
Founded in 2008, US-based Airbnb now claims to have three million homes across 191 countries listed on its platform, and 160 million guests. It had raised a $555-million Series F round led by Google Capital in September 2016, and was valued at around $30 billion. According to a recent SEC filing, Airbnb has closed its Series F round raising roughly $450 million taking their Series F total to a little over $1 billion. According to CNBC, Airbnb is now valued at approximately $31 billion, up by $1 billion since September 2016.