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Airbnb to add ‘Trips,’ curated local tours, experiences

in Peter/Top Headlines by

Home-sharing company Airbnb announced Thursday that it would start adding “Trips” – bookable, curated experiences – to its platform.

“Until now, Airbnb has been about homes,” said CEO Brian Chesky. “Today, Airbnb is launching Trips, bringing together where you stay, what you do, and the people you meet all in one place. We want to make travel magical again by putting people back at the heart of every trip.”

Right now, Trips experiences are available in a dozen cities worldwide, including Miami. Guests can pick from an extensive list of curated options, such as a three-day camping and surfing expedition in Los Angeles, an immersion into the equestrian culture in Paris, or biking through the hidden sights of Tokyo.

Chesky said the goal of Trips is to draw travelers away from touristy areas and into local communities, where they can have a more authentic experience.

The potential for Florida experiences, especially for outdoorsy travelers, is limitless. Trips could include Florida cave diving, biking, hiking, airboat rides, and even gator hunts for the more adventurous.

The addition has the potential to bring tourism revenue all over the state, instead of just the Orlando and Miami areas, and the best part is most of these experiences wouldn’t cannibalize the Florida tourism industry.

The Disney or Universal customer is most likely not the kind of person interested in a cross-state bike tour.

Trips could also make some of Florida’s most interesting people the face of tourism for a new generation of visitors, putting a new spin on what travelers think of when they think of the Sunshine State.

And unlike home rentals, which have come under fire from many local communities, there’s no questionable legality when it comes to guided tours and experiences.

Trips, like Airbnb’s original product, puts more of the profits from tourism into individual’s pockets, rather than funneling it into a handful of major companies.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.

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