Airbnb is changing and will make us travel to a whole different world

What Airbnb and its CEO, Brian Chesky, defines it as their most important change of the decade. What is happening on the rental platform with 6 million homes in the most famous and even most remote corners of the world? Something that seems simple but that can really change the way we travel. The world will be bigger, we will have the opportunity to explore it according to our desires, passions, with more time, more flexibility, and above all we will not only visit the known destinations, but we will discover the most unknown. In other words, a journey that is no longer standardized, but personal and unique. This is happening (or rather it can happen from today) thanks to the new categories. Now check out the Airbnb page on your computer or mobile app and you will see them at the top as the most important navigation tool. Fifty-six categories, for now, but they will grow, for fifty-six ways to travel: houses for surfing or in large national parks, in vineyards or on ski slopes, trulli or ryokans, yurts, campsites, towers and castles, barns or caves, houses with a fantastic swimming pool or with a fantastic piano for those who on their next vacation do not want to stop playing. It’s Brian Chesky – CEO of Airbnb and one of the three (famous) founders who in 2007 inflated air mattresses in their home in San Francisco to become the first “hosts” (the story is just as famous) – to present the news to the press in a small cinema room tucked away in a rut in Soho, New York.

Brian Chesky and his dog Sofie live on Airbnb.

Jessica Chou

Chesky – who just over a month ago announced that he was leaving home forever and with his labrador (Sofie, who was present with him in the room during the presentation) he wanted to live between one Airbnb and the other; and that last week it announced smartworking for its 6,000 employees – it is without a doubt the best representation of what travel could be seen from a different perspective, no longer the one to go all in one place, but to become one place and experience it in reality. What is Chesky Travel? How will we survive the over-tourism and the inevitable superficiality that has led to tourists’ acceptance of destinations and intentions in the travel world? “I think the trip should not focus on landmarks, but on people,” Chesky says after the presentation, while Sofie, the Labrador, gnaws at a bone stretched out in front of me – but at the opportunity to experience communities.

“I believe people today are ready for this change. With the pandemic, people are starting to discover national parks and small destinations close to home, but I also believe it’s time to return to inspire people. No one in the long run time has tried on a large scale to inspire people to discover communities and small towns around the world.I do not think it is true that there are too many people traveling around the world, but I rather think that over-tourism is due to people all traveling together and at the same time. Being a tourist is not in our DNA, it has been the marketing of the last fifty years that has created the tourist approach to travel. But if you offer something interesting instead, if you suggest a new way of looking at thingsthen it is contagious ».

“Companies must try to change things,” Chesky continues, “the journey is not about taking, but about giving back, being part of the community, participating in the lives of the people who live in the place you visit. There is not only Paris. In fact, we want every city to be as interesting as Paris: can it be? Of course, there are no monuments and museums in Paris at a small destination, but there are real people’s lives. And if the journey is based on people, then the possibilities are endless. But what if we were no longer used to being interested in others than ourselves and to discovering the world through humans? “I believe that in today’s world there is great loneliness and strong isolation – comments Chesky – we will not be the ones to solve the world’s loneliness and not even over-tourism, but we will do our part and maybe we will change that way , we see things.for some: Airbnb has been used more than a billion times, who would have expected that? In short, there is a new way of traveling and we will try to make it happen“.

So with the categories we can choose the variation of the world. One of the funniest is “A-frame”, the A-shaped houses (you can see them here), one of Chesky’s most beloved is the Design category, which selects 27,000 design houses around the world and specifies who has designed the home. A true catalog of architecture that also includes the house of Frank LLoyd Wright. There are also homes “off course” and those in the OMG! Category, virtually indefinable originality (there is also a strange “Yellow Submarine” in New Zealand’s forests, Chesky notes).

The new feature of categories, 56 ways to travel as desired.

From 6 million homes on Airbnb 4 million have been categorized in a huge work obtained with artificial intelligence, but monitored, house by house, by the team of curators from Airbnb. Do you want to go to the tropics, to the desert, to the Arctic, but you do not know exactly where you are going? “The new feature addresses the fact that we all tend to search only the destinations we know,” says Chesky. Most of us only think of a few dozen places to type in the search box, but there are Airbnbs in 100,000 countries and cities around the world. The time has come to change the way we have chosen our holiday for 25 years now, by choosing destinations and dates ». Through the categories, you can choose which spirit we travel with, you can search around the world, on a single continent or in a single country, for a week or a month, with fixed or flexible dates. The journey gets longer thanks to smartworking, and this is where the other news in this Airbnb Summer Release (next fall) comes in, namely “Connected remains”. For some categories, especially the more adventurous ones, or for particularly long trips – which is the latest trend on Airbnb – the platform also offers “two-home” solutions, to stay in Zion Park and also in the Grand Canyon, and get more inspiration to travel or to spend a long time at a popular destination by moving from one house to another. There is also a third novelty: insurance AirCover, always included and free of charge, which protects against any unforeseen events. The journey will be easier, easier and maybe, we hope, we will return to being travelers. Take different paths and fall in love with the unknown.

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