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‘Whole trip’ service draws Airbnb big than ever, but numerous want tougher conventions

Airbnb is taking on the tourism industry with an ambitious swelling and a star-studded opening but it comes at a delicate duration for the company

Airbnb is taking on the tourism industry by offering travellers jaunts and know-hows hosted by neighbourhoods, an ambitious stretch which will allow people to schedule entire trips through the home-sharing site.

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

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

Brian Chesky, the companys CEO, obligated the announcement in the early stages of Airbnb Open, a three-day muster of employees, hosts and personalities in Los Angeles. If you want to travel, you basically end up on a research job, Chesky said. We want to fix this.

Rory Carroll (@ rorycarroll7 2)

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

November 17, 2016

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

The announcement came at a fragile hour for Airbnb. The colossus, valued at $30 bn, is eyeing a stock exchange debut but a rising tide of regulation and expressed concerns about the companys impact on property sells threatens to stall breakneck growth. It currently boasts 3m owned directories in 191 countries.

Critics say that instead of ordinary people leasing out spare areas in a benign culture and financial exchange, numerous multitudes are commercial operators who fuel hire rises, evictions and gentrification a reality Airbnb supposedly blurs by withholding and massaging data.

New York last-place month transferred a principle to fine residents who rent out apartments for illegal short-term abides. San Francisco manufactures emcees register and can fine Airbnb for registering an unregistered property.

The next large-scale combat is in LA, where the city council will soon conversation whether to strengthen rules.

A coalition of tenants, parish activists, drudgery leaders and business allies is due to rally outside the companys festivity this week to try to engage multitudes and influence city authorities.

We are very concerned at how short term rents are debasing our housing marketplace and heightening our payments, said James Elmendorf, of the advocacy group 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 know-hows will open multiple new fronts for sovereignties around the world who are still wrestling with how to taxation and govern its short term rentals.

Opponents
Opponents of Airbnb rally in New York, which last month overtook a constitution to fine residents who rent out apartments for illegal short-term stays. Image: Shannon Stapleton/ Reuters

Chesky, who is at 35 one of the worlds youngest billionaires, channelled the spirit of Steve Jobs Apple product launchings in Thursdays announcement, wearing all black and promising transformative change in a slick show. Hires, plus some of the 200 columnists Airbnb ran in for the occasion, cheered and acclaimed.

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

Chesky billed the companys move as empowering travelers to connect with other beings and authentic know-hows they would not otherwise have as tourists. The rendition showcased emcees 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 here CEO. Half are priced below $200. Everything powered by beings. The magical is in the people.

Chesky rekindled the companys descent in 2007 where reference is 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 world program, said. It has real potential to essentially alter how travel and tourism works.

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

Property hosts compensate Airbnb a 3% fee. Know emcees compensate 20%. Those who signed up during a trial period the beginning of this year, and attended the LA event, lauded the collaboration.

Its a boost 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 mystery tour in Cape Town, South Africa, priced $212, which starts with a hike up Table Mountain. Her first Airbnb clients hailed from Peru, Sweden, Ireland and Britain, she said.

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

The LA gathering includes meetings and workshops with claims like build empathy through community, leaps of sect: strategic risk-taking, interior design tips, experiencing your inner joyous legion and be a 5-star legion. Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of Eat, Pray, Love, will give a talk named artistic living beyond horror: go with interest.

Airbnbs ambition and its legions evangelical passion will dismay detractors who accuse the company of driving up rents and spoiling places by siphoning off rental gangs for tourist mobs, a criticism 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 leases have spiked 39% between 2011 and 2015.

Airbnb consumed by corporate owned buyers who masquerade as property owners but are simply causing illegal inns with no consider for Venice as a collection of neighborhoods, filled with neighbours and community, said Mary Anne Thomas, 64, a librarian who is being ejected from the bungalow she shares with her husband and dog.

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

Tourists were often loud and disruptive, said Thomas, standing in her garden. Parties in a neighboring room which towered over the bungalow gazed down as she addrest. Airbnb-ers, she said.

Airbnb repudiates worsening house crises in LA or elsewhere, saying it wages taxes which fund low-income home and renders cash an average of $7,500 per year which helps middle class multitudes pay their own payments and mortgages.

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

Read more: www.theguardian.com

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