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‘Whole trip’ service builds Airbnb big than ever, but many want tougher principles

Airbnb is taking on the tourist industry with an ambitious stretch and a star-studded launch but it comes at a delicate age for the company

Airbnb is taking on the tourist industry by offering travellers tours and know-hows hosted by locals, an ambitious stretch which will allow people to strategy 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, meat tasting, truffle chase, burlesque dance lessons, mountain biking, samurai-sword world-class and murder-mystery tours.

Brian Chesky, the companys CEO, realise the edict at the start of Airbnb Open, a three-day rally of employees, emcees and celebrities in Los Angeles. If you want to travel, you basically end up on studies and research programme, Chesky said. We want to fix this.

Rory Carroll (@ rorycarroll7 2)

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

November 17, 2016

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

The announcement came at a fragile meter for Airbnb. The colossus, valued at $30 bn, is eyeing a stock market introduction but a rising tide of regulation and concern about the companys impact on belonging markets threatens to stall breakneck increment. It currently boasts 3m dimension inventories in 191 countries.

Critics say that instead of ordinary people leasing out spare chambers in a benign culture and fiscal exchange, numerous hosts are commercial-grade operators who fuel lease rises, ousters and gentrification a reality Airbnb allegedly blurs by withholding and massaging data.

New York last-place month passed a law to fine local residents who rent out apartments for illegal short-term bides. San Francisco obligates multitudes registry and can penalty Airbnb for scheduling an unregistered dimension.

The next large-hearted combat is in LA, where the city council will soon debate whether the government has strengthen rules.

A coalition of tenants, parish activists, labour presidents and business friends is due to rally outside the companys festivity the coming week to try to engage emcees and push metropoli authorities.

We are very concerned at how short term leases are debasing our home market and parent our rents, said James Elmendorf, of the advocacy group Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy( Laane ). So we are out there civilizing Airbnb hosts about their responsibilities so theyre not only hearing from the company.

Airbnbs expansion into tours and events will open multiple new fronts for sovereignties around the world that they continue to wrestling with how to tax and regulate its short term rentals.

Opponents of Airbnb rally in New York, which last-place month transferred a rule to fine local residents who rent out suites for illegal short-term stays. Photograph: Shannon Stapleton/ Reuters

Chesky, who is at 35 one of the worlds youngest billionaires, channelled the spirit of Steve Jobs Apple product openings in Thursdays announcement, wearing all pitch-black and promising transformative change in a slick show. Employees, plus some of the 200 journalists Airbnb piloted in for the phenomenon, applauded and praised.

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

Chesky statute the companys move as entitling travelers to connect with other beings and authentic knowledge they would not otherwise have as tourists. The presentation showcased legions including an astro-photographer in LA, a jazz pianist in Havana and a lifestyle blogger in Nairobi.

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

Chesky provoked the companys descent in 2007 where reference is and co-founder Joe Gebbia started hosting parties 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 world policy, said. It has real potential to fundamentally alter how travel and tourism works.

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

Property hosts offer Airbnb a 3% fee. Know-how legions pay 20%. Those who signed up during a trial period the beginning of this year, and attended 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 slaying riddle tour in Cape Town, South Africa, priced $212, which starts with a hike up Table Mountain. Her first Airbnb patrons acclaimed from Peru, Sweden, Ireland and Britain, she said.

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

The LA gathering includes forums and seminars with titles like house empathy through community, bounces of faith: strategic risk-taking, interior design tips, encountering your inner joyous multitude and has become a 5-star emcee. Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of Eat, Pray, Love, will give a talk named innovative living beyond fright: journey with curiosity.

Airbnbs ambition and its hosts evangelical passion will dishearten detractors who accuse the company of driving up hires and spoiling neighborhoods by siphoning off rental sections for sightseer hosts, a commentary hear in London, Amsterdam, Berlin and elsewhere.

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

Airbnb is used by corporate dimension purchasers who masquerade as property owners but are simply forming illegal inns with no regard for Venice as a accumulation of vicinities, filled with neighbours and parish, said Mary Anne Thomas, 64, a librarian who is being dispossessed from the bungalow she shares with her husband and dog.

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

Tourists were often loud and disorderly, said Thomas, standing in her ground. Beings in a neighboring residence which towered over the bungalow gazed down as she addrest. Airbnb-ers, she said.

Airbnb denies worsening casing crisis in LA or elsewhere, saying it fees taxes which money low-income house and supplies money an average of $7,500 per year which facilitates middle class emcees pay their own payments and mortgages.

Its a platform that was created to keep parties in their homes, said Lehane, the heads of state of world policy. Gentrification and homelessness had wider, deeper induces, he said. Were talking about socio-economic veers going back 10 years.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

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