Skift Take

The growth of Airbnb Experiences is impressive, but the company — and the overall tours and activities industry — has a long way to go before it can claim true success.

Airbnb Experiences, which the company launched in 2016 with just 500 activities in 12 markets, has seen a 295 percent growth increase in the number of experiences it has, as well as nearly seven times more bookings for Experiences, year-over-year since 2018.

The company also reported that it tripled the number of U.S. guests who booked an Airbnb experience in addition to booking a home on the Airbnb platform.

During a recent interview, Airbnb Vice President of Airbnb Experiences Joseph “Joebot” Zadeh told Skift that while the company focused on scaling up Experiences in 2018, this year his primary focus is to continue to improve the quality of all those 30,000 trips.

Most recently, Airbnb has invested in category specialists to review and ensure that Airbnb Experiences in specific categories, like food and drink, and animals, are up to the company’s standards. Previously, the company reported that interest in Airbnb Experiences featuring food and drink are the most popular and most booked.

The company also reported that today, more than 90 percent of all Experiences have five-star reviews, and said that “many of Airbnb Experiences are not offered on any other major online platform” but did not specify an exact percentage of exclusive Experiences.

In a recent survey of more than 200,000 guests who booked an Airbnb experience, conducted from January to February of this year, 96 percent of surveyed guests said identifying a more local, authentic experience was a factor when booking with Airbnb. Ninety-two percent said their trust in the quality of Airbnb Experiences influenced their decision to book one.

The company also said that the average Airbnb Experiences host earned $2,500 per Experience listed in 2018, and that some top hosts have earned more than $300,000 a year from hosting these trips.

The company’s Social Impact Experiences, whose proceeds go straight to nonprofits, have raised $4 million collectively since 2016, and more than 65,000 people have connected with a nonprofit through a Social Impact Experience.

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Tags: airbnb, tour and travel providers

Photo credit: An Airbnb Experience in Havana. The company said it saw nearly seven times more bookings in 2018 year over year than 2017. Airbnb

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