Will other hotels or more established travel companies follow suit?
When Airbnb’s Global Head of Hospitality and Strategy, Chip Conley, said he could envision hotels and Airbnb working more closely together in the future at the Skift Global Forum in September, we’re wondering if he was referring to this.
Earlier this month, famed chef Alain Ducasse’s Châteaux & Hôtels Collection announced it was partnering with Airbnb to not only feature its rooms on the alternative accommodations platform but to also participate in Airbnb’s newest product, Trips.
Trips, which Airbnb debuted in November, involve more than 500 peer-to-peer led tours and activities in 12 cities worldwide. However, with this announcement, it appears Airbnb is willing to open up its Trips product — and its home sharing platform —
to tourism professionals and established hotel operators. Now, we have to wonder if other hotels, especially collections of independent or boutique properties, will choose to do the same.
Whether or not they follow suit, it’s clear that Airbnb is, perhaps, considering adding more mainstream tour and activity choices that are being led by more professional or established experts — something Rod Cuthbert, founder of Viator and CEO of Rome2rio predicted might happen as Airbnb looks to scale its newest product.
Châteaux & Hôtels Collection said this is the first time Airbnb has collaborated with a European hospitality brand in this way. This isn’t the first time hotels have advertised their rooms on Airbnb, but it is the first time a hotel organization has decided to offer tours and activities through Airbnb. As part of this partnership, Châteaux & Hôtels Collection is offering the following four Trip experiences in Paris:
- Learning the secrets of modern French cooking with Citrus Etoile’s head chef Gilles by visiting local food markets with the chef.
- Learning how to make chocolate with Nicolas, a world-renowned French chocolatier.
- Learning all about mixology with Marjolaine, a leading expert bartender and cocktail creator.
- Going behind the scenes at Alain Ducasse’s cooking school with Alexandra, the school’s director. This experience includes an exclusive tour, wine tasting, cooking lesson, and lunch.
In a press statement, Emmanuel Marill, Airbnb’s general manager in France, said, “Last month, we unveiled the most significant development in our eight-year history as Airbnb moved beyond accommodation with the launch of Trips. Today, we’re thrilled to partner with one of the most iconic groups in travel. We share the same commitment to provide unique, local experiences from people and communities with fascinating talents and skills”
In the same release, Xavier Alberti, general manager of Châteaux & Hôtels Collection, said, “We are pleased that our hoteliers can offer the Airbnb community, with more than 140 million guest arrivals, the chance to discover their most unique rooms. This meeting is first and foremost the meeting of two travel actors, two innovative actors, who refuse preconceived ideas and who share the same vision of hospitality: travel must first and foremost be an experience. We are convinced that this partnership, between two complementary players in the world of travel, is at the service of the travelers of the world.”
A look into Airbnb’s Paris Trips on December 23, however, only amassed one of the aforementioned experiences, the mixology experience with Marjolaine.
Skift reached out to Châteaux & Hôtels Collection for more information about the other Trips, as well as to find out how many of its hotels are choosing to advertise their rooms on Airbnb, but has not received any confirmation regarding those details.
Châteaux & Hôtels Collection was established in 1975 as a collection of independent hotels and was purchased by Ducasse in 1998. Today, the collection represents approximately more than 500 hotels, hotel/restaurants, and guest houses throughout France and Italy.
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Photo credit: The Cocktail Workshop at les Halles with Marjolaine is one of four Airbnb Trips experiences being offered as part of Airbnb's partnership with European independent hotel collection, Châteaux & Hôtels Collection. Airbnb