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‘Whole trip’ service draws Airbnb bigger than ever, but many want tougher conventions

Airbnb is taking on the tourist industry with an ambitious expansion and a star-studded opening but it comes at a fragile era for the company

Airbnb is taking on the tourism industry by offering travellers tours and knows hosted by neighbourhoods, an ambitious expansion which will allow people to project entire tours through the home-sharing site.

The redesigned app works for a dozen metropolis, including London, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Paris, Tokyo and Nairobi, and will spread to dozens more next year, and eventually thousands, the company said on Thursday.

Offerings include stargazing, channel-surf, embroidering, nutrient tasting, truffle chase, burlesque dance assignments, mountain biking, samurai-sword classes and murder-mystery tours.

Brian Chesky, the companys CEO, stirred the edict at the start of Airbnb Open, a three-day congregate of hires, multitudes and luminaries in Los Angeles. If you want to travel, you mostly end up on a research projection, Chesky said. We want to fix this.

Rory Carroll (@ rorycarroll7 2)

Brian Chesky unveils Airbnb’s next large-scale act: ‘experiences’. Customized tours. Already live. pic.twitter.com/ 7bO7J2R35I

November 17, 2016

It will create a holistic expedition experience, said Chesky. This is not a tour. You participate. You are immersed … this is literally just the beginning.

The announcement came at a fragile time for Airbnb. The colossus, valued at $30 bn, is eyeing a stock exchange introduction but a rising tide of regulation and concern about the companys impact on owned sells threatens to stall breakneck proliferation. It currently boasts 3m belonging itemizes in 191 countries.

Critics say that instead of ordinary people renting out spare chambers in a benign culture and fiscal exchange, numerous hosts are commercial operators who fuel lease rises, expulsions and gentrification a reality Airbnb reportedly blurs by withholding and rubbing data.

New York last month overtook a principle to fine local residents who rent out apartments for illegal short-term stands. San Francisco prepares emcees register and can penalty Airbnb for listing an unregistered owned.

The next big-hearted battle is in LA, where the city council will shortly debate whether to strengthen rules.

A coalition of tenants, parish activists, labor leaders and business friends is due to rally outside the companys celebration this week to try to engage hosts and distres metropoli authorities.

We are very concerned at how short term rents are perverting our housing market and parent our hires, said James Elmendorf, of the advocacy radical Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy( Laane ). So we are out there educating Airbnb legions about their official duties so theyre not only hearing from the company.

Airbnbs expansion into tours and events will open multiple new figureheads for experts around the world who are still wrestling with how to taxation and regulate its short term rentals.

Opponents of Airbnb rally in New York, which last month elapsed a statute to fine local residents who rent out apartments for illegal short-term bides. Photograph: Shannon Stapleton/ Reuters

Chesky, who is at 35 one of the worlds youngest billionaires, channelled the spirit of Steve Jobs Apple product propels in Thursdays announcement, wearing all black and promising transformative altered in a slick exhibition. Hires, plus some of the 200 writers Airbnb operated in for the contest, encouraged and applauded.

Gwyneth Paltrow and Ashton Kutcher will disperse Hollywood glitz when they address some of the 7,500 multitudes on Saturday.

Chesky legislation the companys move as entitling travelers to connect with other people and authentic experiences they would not otherwise have as tourists. The present showcased hosts including an astro-photographer in LA, a jazz pianist in Havana and a lifestyle blogger in Nairobi.

Experiences can last-place a few hours or several days, said the CEO. Half are priced below $200. Everything powered by people. The sorcery is in the people.

Chesky provoked the companys parentage in 2007 when he and co-founder Joe Gebbia started hosting people on an airbed in their San Francisco apartment, a real-life Silicon Valley fairytale.

Its the next really big chapter for us, Chris Lehane, Airbnbs head of global policy, said. It has real potential to basically change how travel and tourism investments works.

Hosting could be a lifeline for people displaced by robotics and other financial pushes, said Lehane, a former political consultant to Bill Clinton and Al Gore.

Property legions pay Airbnb a 3% committee. Experience legions offer 20%. Those who signed up during a trial period the beginning of this year, and were represented at the LA event, lauded the collaboration.

Its a increase to my business. I had the structure already, said Kike Correa, 26, who takes clients paddleboarding, snorkeling and scuba diving in the Florida Keys.

Nicole Biondi, 39, has designed a assassinate mystery tour in Cape Town, South Africa, priced $212, which starts with a hike up Table Mountain. Her first Airbnb buyers hailed from Peru, Sweden, Ireland and Britain, she said.

Chuck McCarthy, an L-Abased performer who supplements his income by strolling beings, said he was open to becoming a legion. If Airbnb reached out to me as The People Walker, Id emphatically think about it.

The LA gathering includes forums and workshops with titles like construct empathy through parish, leaps of sect: strategic risk-taking, interior design tips, receiving your inner happy host and be a 5-star legion. Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of Eat, Pray, Love, will give a talk named inventive living beyond fear: moving with interest.

Airbnbs ambition and its hosts evangelical passion will dishearten detractors who accuse the company of representing an increase of rents and breaking neighborhoods by siphoning off rental parts for tourist hosts, a commentary hear in London, Amsterdam, Berlin and elsewhere.

In LA, activists say Venice, the citys bohemian coastal community, is the worst affected: an Airbnb hotspot where payments have spiked 39% between 2011 and 2015.

Airbnb is used by corporate dimension buyers who masquerade as property owners but are simply creating illegal hotels with no reference for Venice as a collecting of places, fitted with neighbors and community, said Mary Anne Thomas, 64, a librarian who is being ejected from the bungalow she shares with her husband and dog.

Philip Henrikson and Mary Anne Thomas are being dispossessed from their home in Venice, an Airbnb hotspot. Image: Rory Carroll

Tourists were often raucous and disorderly, said Thomas, standing in her ground. Parties in a neighboring house which towered over the bungalow gazed down as she pronounced. Airbnb-ers, she said.

Airbnb disclaims degenerating housing emergencies in LA or elsewhere, saying it offers taxes which money low-income home and supports cash an average of $7,500 per year which facilitates middle class emcees pay their own rents and mortgages.

Its a platform that was created to keep people in their homes, said Lehane, the head of global program. Gentrification and homelessness had wider, deeper reasons, he said. Were talking about socio-economic tendencies going back 10 years.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

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