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‘Whole trip’ service moves Airbnb bigger than ever, but numerous want tougher rules

Airbnb is taking on the tourism industry with an ambitious stretch and a star-studded open but it comes at a delicate season for the company

Airbnb is taking on the tourist industry by offering travellers excursions and knows hosted by neighbourhoods, an ambitious stretch which will allow people to contrive entire tours 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 on Thursday.

Offerings include stargazing, channel-surf, embellishing, food tasting, truffle hunting, burlesque dance exercises, mountain biking, samurai-sword world-class and murder-mystery tours.

Brian Chesky, the companys CEO, moved the announcement at the start of Airbnb Open, a three-day pick of hires, hosts and personalities 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-hearted occasion: ‘experiences’. Customized tours. Already live. pic.twitter.com/ 7bO7J2R35I

November 17, 2016

It will create a holistic wander 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 debut but a rising tide of regulation and concern about the companys impact on belonging marketplaces threatens to stall breakneck growing. It currently boasts 3m owned rolls in 191 countries.

Critics say that instead of ordinary people hiring out spare areas in a benign cultural and fiscal exchange, many multitudes are commercial operators who fuel rent rises, expulsions and gentrification a reality Airbnb supposedly blurs by withholding and massaging data.

New York last-place month elapsed a statute to penalty residents who rent out suites for illegal short-term bides. San Francisco realise multitudes registry and can penalty Airbnb for registering an unregistered owned.

The next big-hearted duel is in LA, where the city council will shortly dispute whether the government has strengthen rules.

A coalition of tenants, parish activists, effort commanders and business allies is due to rally outside the companys celebration the coming week to try to engage multitudes and influence metropoli authorities.

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

Airbnbs expansion into tours and know-hows will open multiple brand-new figureheads for governments around the world that they continue to wrestling with how to charge and govern its short term rentals.

Opponents of Airbnb rally in New York, which last month passed a statute to penalty residents who rent out suites for illegal short-term remains. Picture: Shannon Stapleton/ Reuters

Chesky, who is at 35 one of the worlds youngest billionaires, channelled the spirit of Steve Jobs Apple product launches in Thursdays announcement, wearing all pitch-black and promising transformative change in a slick introduction. Employees, plus some of the 200 reporters Airbnb hovered in for the contest, encouraged and acclaimed.

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

Chesky billed the companys move as entitling travelers to connect with other people and authentic knowledge they would not otherwise have as tourists. The appearance showcased multitudes 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 parties. The occult is in the people.

Chesky evoked the companys origin 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 programme, said. It has real potential to fundamentally transform how travel and tourism works.

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

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

Its a lift 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 assassination mystery 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 treading 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 seminars and shops with deeds like building empathy through community, leapings of faith: strategic risk-taking, interior design tips-off, feeling your inner glad host and be a 5-star emcee. Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of Eat, Pray, Love, will give a talk named imaginative living beyond panic: moving with interest.

Airbnbs ambition and its multitudes evangelical fervor will dismay detractors who accuse the company of driving up payments and ruining places by siphoning off rental forces for sightseer multitudes, a criticism heard 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 is used by corporate dimension purchasers who masquerade as property owners but are simply causing illegal hotels with no see for Venice as a collecting of places, filled with neighbors 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 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 room which towered over the bungalow gazed down as she spoke. Airbnb-ers, she said.

Airbnb disclaims worsening dwelling disasters in LA or elsewhere, saying it fees taxes which fund low-income housing and caters cash an average of $7,500 per year which helps middle class emcees pay their own hires and mortgages.

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

Read more: www.theguardian.com

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