Airbnb is pushing its new feature Trips hard and wide. The San Francisco-based company launched the option in Singapore on Monday and it has plans to strengthen the base with few strong marketing activities. With this, Trips will set its presence in three Asian countries - Seoul, Tokyo and Bangkok.
So what are Trips? The feature allows users to find and book local tours and activities while on holiday. In other words, direct competitors to tour agents. But to beat the traditional travel agencies, Airbnb needs some unique strategy. It allows users to enjoy the city's tradition and culture with just a single click.
For example, in Singapore, it offers services like dumplings and pottery making. The company said in its official statement: "We want to make travel magical again by immersing curious visitors in local cities and neighborhoods, offering yet another way for the Airbnb community to help you feel like an insider in Singapore."
According to Mashable, Trips is currently available across London, Miami, Nairobi, Havana, Florence, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Detroit, Tokyo, Seoul, Cape Town, and Paris. It is expected to go live across 50 cities by the end of this year.
"With Asia being Airbnb's fastest growing market for inbound travelers, at 177 percent growth year-on-year, it's no surprise that the company is targeting the region," the article opined.
With Trips, Airbnb is moving the company beyond a home-sharing concept. However, the key roadblock is Singapore, where the government's recent law is making it illegal for home owners to rent out entire apartments and rooms for less than six months.
Joe Gebbia, co-founder and chief product officer of Airbnb, expressed his disappointment to Mashable regarding the new law. He said: "I'm disappointed with the way the government went about putting this law in place. But we want to sit and really talk about how to make fair and progressive laws that can properly regulate the industry and economy like we've done with almost 200 cities worldwide."
Trips was first launched in November 2016 and now it has over 800 experiences across various cities in the world.